Skip to main content
Joshua Sachs

Joshua Sachs’s Answers

4,592 total

  • How are Illinois Supreme Court Cases Scheduled for Oral Argument? I want to find out if a Case will be Argued in Sept or Nov.

    The Appellee Brief is due on 8-31-2015 and the Appellant Reply Brief is due on 9-14-2015. The Illinois Supreme Court meets again on 9-14-2015. I have been in touch with the Appellee Attorney and he told me that I can file my Amicus Brief on 8-31-2...

    Joshua’s Answer

    The Supreme Court's docket is available online at:

    In my experience cases are not set on the oral argument docket until they are fully briefed, but you can call the clerk of the Supreme Court and perhaps get additional information. You appear to be worried about objections but you are apparently in touch with counsel for the parties. Have you asked them whether they will agree to the filing of your amicus brief? Attorneys often are willing to do so. You would then be able to state that your motion for leave to file is unopposed and to include in the body of the motion a statement along the lines of "AB, attorney for appellant, and CD, attorney for appellee, have authorized movant to state that they have no objection to the filing of a brief by the amicus curiae."

    See question 
  • Process & how long it takes to expunge record after completing misdemeanor deferred prosecution program (retail theft) in 4/15

    My mother was arrested for retail theft misdemeanor class A in Dec 2014 and her case was dismissed in April 2015 after completing misdemeanor deferred prosecution program (retail theft). This was her first time. It's in Skokie court house in Coo...

    Joshua’s Answer

    If the charge against her was dismissed after successful completion of a deferred prosecution program she can file a petition for expungement immediately. The statute (I am going from memory here and am not in a position to look it up right now) gives the various police and prosecuting agencies sixty days in which to respond to the petition. Assuming that no objections are filed the court in suburban districts of Cook County will typically rule on the petition shortly after the sixty-response period ends. Those state agencies that have records (circuit court, arresting police department, Illinois State Police) then have sixty days in which to comply with the expungement order. So if things move according to law the whole process takes about four months. Sometimes it moves a bit faster. Sometimes it is slower. Backlog can cause court delays. Some local police departments are short-staffed and slow about complying with orders. But figure about four months on the average.

    The filing fee charged by the clerk of the court (which includes an expungement fee for the Department of State Police) used to be $120 in Cook County. It may be slightly higher now. Chicago branches of the circuit court require a "rap sheet" from the arresting police department, but Skokie does not (unless the practice has changed recently).

    The expungement procedure was designed to be simple enough so that most petitioners could follow it without an attorney, but many people feel more comfortable having an attorney do it anyway, and it does make mistakes less likely. As in just about all legal matters, attorneys set their fees individually and you may find quite a spread for the same project. It makes sense to make a few inquiries. More expensive does not necessarily mean better quality work or a difference in the outcome. My recommendation is always that in choosing an attorney you want to go with someone with whom you can work comfortably and effectively, with cost a distinctly secondary consideration.

    Good luck.

    See question 
  • How many times can you appeal a capital murder trial

    Can a capital murder case be reopened after the first appeal was denied. Case is 20 years old

    Joshua’s Answer

    Typically there is permitted only one appeal from a judgment of conviction, although that appeal may have several stages and in a complicated case it may move back and forth if remanded from one court to another.

    In addition to the appeal, most states provide some kind of collateral review proceeding, which might be called a post-conviction petition, coram nobis petition, habeas corpus application, PCRA, or some other name depending on state law. An adverse result in a state collateral proceeding can typically be appealed.

    Finally, if a state court conviction presents issues of federal law, those aspects of the case can be considered by the federal district court in proceedings on a federal habeas corpus petition. The decision of the district court can be appealed through the federal court system.

    So, in summary there is one and only one appeal from the conviction. There may, in addition to the appeal, be other state and federal avenues of review available. After 20 years, however, the time limits for most remedies will normally have expired. You would need to have your specific situation evaluated by an attorney familiar with the appellate and collateral review practice in your state.

    See question 
  • Filed a motion 2255 in fed court on several issues. Was granted a evidentiary hearing to get COA and appeal rights back and won

    So now trying to figure out what the next step. Appointed counsel contacted family n informed us of court decision but that he doesn't know if they will keep him on or appoint other counsel. Just trying to figure out if anything that I need to be ...

    Joshua’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    First of all, congratulations on the outcome of your appeal and of your success to date on you 2255 motion. It sounds from your posting as though the court of appeals has ordered a remand for further proceedings before the district court. Without knowing the details of your case or the precise nature of the remand order it is impossible to say what will happen now, except that you can assume that the order of the court of appeals will be obeyed and that whatever directions that court gave for remand proceedings will be followed.

    But you are at a cross-roads. The government may still be within the time to ask for rehearing in the court of appeals, and it may also seek certiorari review from the United States Supreme Court. Rehearing and certiorari are not often requested, and are seldom granted, but they are possibilities and can slow things down even if they go nowhere in the end. The order of the court of appeals will not be carried out until the court's mandate issues. The mandate is the formal order of judgment on appeal. Typically a mandate does not issue until several weeks, at least, after the court's opinion is entered.

    If your attorney does not know whether the appointment for remand will go to him or to somebody else, then nobody knows. Rest assured, you will find out.

    I understand that uncertainty and suspense are unpleasant, but there are no clear answers to your questions and the best person to keep you posted on the progress of your case is your attorney, who is obviously handling the matter capably and is keeping you up to date as developments occur. Nobody else can tell you more.

    See question 
  • What do I do now? States Attorney dropped charges

    I had someone arrested for stealing my tablet. I had absolutely proof it was mine, in the form of receipts, and the box with the IMEI number. She as well admitted she had it and that it was mine. She was given a notice to appear. Yet today, in cou...

    Joshua’s Answer

    It is not clear from your posting that the State had much of a case. Your evaluation and that of an experienced prosecutor would not necessarily be the same. Mr. Cameron has decades of experience as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney, and he was not at all surprised at the result.

    See question 
  • Looking for a pro bono Attorney for a felony theft case to take before the Illinois Supreme court on Appeal

    A purse at a casino was found, I was never looked for but they were calling my son, so I retained a lawyer and went and turned myself in. I then looked for an Attorney and took all the monwy I had in a Medicare set aside fund for my medical treat...

    Joshua’s Answer

    From what you describe I would say you need to have an attorney evaluate your case to determine whether you need an appeal, a post-conviction petition, or both. It is impossible to determine from your posting, of course, whether your case has any merit or not. You may be entitled to appointed counsel on appeal. You may or may not be entitled to appointed counsel in post-conviction proceedings. Do not expect lawyers to stand in line to represent you without compensation, which is what you seem to be suggesting. That is not going to happen. The remedies available to you, if any, would be a very substantial undertaking for an attorney and not many lawyers are in a position to give away that kind of time and effort, nor is it apparent from your posting why you should be entitled to that kind consideration.

    See question 
  • Can I still appeal a case where I pleaded guilty? I pleaded guilty because I got a "good deal."

    The case closed on May 13

    Joshua’s Answer

    In order to appeal from a guilty plea in Illinois you must first file a motion before the trial court requesting leave to withdraw your plea. If you only want to challenge the sentence imposed pursuant to the plea you must file a motion for reconsideration of the sentence. Either motion must be filed within thirty days of sentencing. If the judge denies your timely motion then you can appeal. Obviously, if the judge grants your motion, an appeal becomes unnecessary.

    If you do not file the appropriate motion within thirty days of the date on which you were sentenced on the plea, your motion is not timely and you can neither pursue the motion nor take an appeal. The judge told you this in court, remember? It is sometimes possible to challenge a plea by post-conviction petition when it is not possible to appeal.

    Withdrawing a guilty plea, whether by motion, appeal, or otherwise, is very dangerous and should not be attempted without the careful advice of an attorney. The danger is not that you might fail. The danger is that you might succeed. If you succeed in getting out of your plea, the case goes back to square one. Any charges that were dismissed as a result of the plea agreement are reinstated, new charges may be possible, and you are back at the beginning facing trial, and a potentially much more severe sentence, on a case that you did not think you could beat the first time. What makes you think you are in any better position now? If you are expecting a better plea offer, forget it. You had a deal. You tore it up. You won't get another. You will try the case and live with the consequences, good or bad, whatever they may be.

    See question 
  • Are there any books or case law examples I could read that may help me in my Criminal Sexual Assault case?

    I am being charged with Criminal Sexual Assault of a minor. I do have a lawyer, but I want to be the most help I can be in the case. Are the any books or case law examples that might help me in my case? I have given my lawyer all the information I...

    Joshua’s Answer

    What you propose to do is not going to help your attorney at all. At best if will waste the attorney's time and yours. At worst, your attorney may fall into the trap of doing what will please you rather than what will best defend your case. It takes years to know how to read and understand legal decisions, and if your lawyer can get any benefit from your efforts in that area then you have a pretty pitiful lawyer. What you should do to help is to be absolutely 100% honest and forthright with your lawyer about the facts, and provide your lawyer with all the factual information you can about the case and about potential witnesses and sources of factual information.

    Neither convictions nor acquittals are published. Only decisions on appeal are published. Your attorney will know how to do the legal research that the case requires. Keep out of the way.

    Sorry to be blunt, but no good will come of what you want to do.

    See question 
  • Reading if Rights

    My husband was recently arrested for the first time for driving on a suspended license. He said the police that pulled him over called for backup and searched the car, handcuffed him and took him to the station. During the whole process he said he...

    Joshua’s Answer

    Your husband, like 99% of the people in this country, totally misunderstands Miranda. He has just about everything wrong. It is very unlikely given the facts you describe that the police were under any obligation to read his Miranda rights to him at all. And in the rather special circumstances where the police are required to give the Miranda warnings, the only remedy for failure to do so is that the prosecutor is limited in the use that can be made at trial of the defendant's custodial statement. A Miranda violation does not give rise to a case against the police and does not create any rights to the return of bail or tow money, and it most certainly does not require that the case against the defendant be dismissed.

    Your husband's dog won't hunt.

    See question 
  • Can jury instructions that are fundamentally flawed get a conviction over turn even after the sentence has been served 15yrs ?

    Went to trial on sex offense . No DNA , no intercourse was implicated. Just the alleged victim testimony . On 2nd day of trial I was granted a direct verdict of acquittal . Prosecuter had charging information wrong . the judge then amend the cha...

    Joshua’s Answer

    I cannot speak for Florida, but just in general I would say you have procedural barriers which will probably sink your ship. A defect in the jury instructions is a matter of record, and therefore can and should be raised on direct appeal and an appeal, in every state I know of, must be initiated within days after final judgment, 60 days being the longest I ever heard of. You apparently did not raise this claim on appeal, or if you did you failed. So either you forfeited the claim by not raising it at the proper time and in the proper proceeding or you already raised this claim and you lost. So it is either waived or res judicata.

    Arguably you could have filed a collateral review petition of some kind claiming ineffective assistance of trial counsel for failing to catch the instruction error and ineffective assistance of appellate counsel for failing to raise the issue on appeal. But after 15 years it is probably too late for that remedy, too.

    So even you are right that the instruction was defective (something about which I express no opinion one way or another) it is more than likely that there is nothing you can do about it now.

    But don't rely on what I say. Have a Florida attorney evaluate your case.

    See question