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Joshua Sachs

Joshua Sachs’s Answers

4,824 total


  • Could I motion to have these charges dismissed for violating my right to a speedy trial / inability to give a fair trial

    I was arrested for unlawful possession of a controlled substance. They sent the substances off to the illinois crime lab and an attorney I talked to said it could take up to a year for the results to come back. If it does take that long, I lose...

    Joshua’s Answer

    I agree with my colleagues. You are very premature in even thinking about a speedy trial issue. The video footage is no problem. If your attorney thinks it is a good idea to have it (there is always the danger that it will help the prosecution more than it will help you) it should be ordered now. That would be essential even if you had a much shorter trial date. Same with witnesses. You contact the witnesses now and nail them down. The date of the trial has nothing to do with the timing of your investigation, which should normally begin as soon as possible after arrest.

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  • If my backpack is locked with my lock can a cop take the key I have on me for it and unlock it without my consent or a warrent

    I am homeless and unfortunately a drug user so I carry a backpack everywhere with me that has drug paraphernalia in it that I lock up with a key opened master lock so I am trying to find out what the police can and cannot do if I have the key to t...

    Joshua’s Answer

    I see no legal difference between a combination lock and a key lock. The police can open either with a warrant, with your consent, or if one of the many exceptions to the warrant requirement applies under the circumstances of your situation. Your question is the kind that can only be answered upon the facts of a specific case, and even then perhaps only by a fully litigated motion to suppress.

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  • In an appeal, who reads the record

    Do the judges themselves read the transcripts and motions? Or do they have legal assistants that do that and tell them what happened?

    Joshua’s Answer

    On the practice of Michigan appellate courts I defer to my Michigan colleagues. This is just an additional observation about criminal appellate practice in general.

    Reading the transcripts of a trial, especially a long jury trial, is time-consuming and inefficient. If the judges had to read the entire transcript on every case they would never get anything else done. And a transcript is wasteful, often containing page after page of material of minimal importance. It is the job of the appellate attorneys to master the transcript and summarize the important facts (with citations to the record) for the court so that the judges do not have to do it. The attorneys will also point out any truly important sections of the transcript that the judges actually need to read for themselves and may include those portions as an appendix to the briefs. My experience is that in one way or another the judges will be familiar with those parts of the transcript that matter.

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  • See detailed question. I will meet with a lawyer when I can obtain the full affidavit. Just want my ducks in a row

    a search and seizure warrant was executed in my home. The warrant was for computers and their related storage devices, including but not limited to cell phone&other electronic storage media. I was given a copy of the signed warrant, the rest of th...

    Joshua’s Answer

    Don't wait two weeks. Get a an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. 4th amendment cases are intensely fact- and detail-specific and the analysis of a search, including the execution of a warrant, is far beyond the capacity of an online Q&A forum. Just off the top of my head, the points you raise in your posting do not sound particularly hopeful for you. But remember, I might spend five or ten minutes researching my most thorough and detailed Avvo responses, whereas if I were actually defending the poster as a client I might put scores, or sometimes even hundreds, of hours into the research and preparation of a defense.

    All an online legal forum like this can really do is to tell you whether you need help and to point you in the right direction. You need help in a big, serious way. If you do not already have references for attorneys whose criminal defense work is generally respected in the Hartford area, you might start with the find-a-lawyer tab at the top of this page. But don't wait. Get a lawyer on board now. The earlier we get involved the more we can accomplish.

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  • Wasnt i under arrest when they took ne to the station?should he have read me my rights before he asked questions at the station?

    I was in an accident. It was 6 below zero outside and had no cell battery. I talked to the other driver a bit ways down the road. Told him I would go to the gas station and call the police. I got lost and the police found me 2 hours later walk...

    Joshua’s Answer

    You could file a motion to suppress your statements and resulting evidence on the grounds that you were under arrest and were not given Miranda warnings, but it is by no means clear that you would win your motion. The prosecutor's position would be that you were not under arrest at the time you made your statements, but that it was the field tests and breath test that resulted in you subsequently being placed under arrest. The judge would have to hear your testimony and that of the officer, decide precisely what happened and when, and rule on the motion. You have at least a chance of success, but that is by no means certain.

    It is also unclear that suppressing your statements would do you much good, because the prosecution might be able to go ahead and convict you on the other evidence even without your statement, which does not seem particularly important as you have described what happened. Of course, a lawyer who defends you will not merely rely on your account of what happened but will insist on being familiar with all available evidence in the case.

    That the officer did not see you drive is most unlikely to help you at all. I would not put much stock in that.

    You are the defendant in a fairly serious criminal case. I hope you do not intend to stumble through this on your own, looking for advice online as you think you need it. That is a pretty certain way to be found guilty. If you have not already done so, get on the telephone this afternoon and make an appointment with an attorney who enjoys a good reputation in the defense of DUI cases.

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  • How important is oral argument in the Court of Appeals

    Or is a well written brief going to have the most sway?

    Joshua’s Answer

    No two cases are exactly alike, but in general:

    The most important factor by far in the outcome of the appeal is the record. What is in the record controls everything else, determines what lines of argument are open to the attorneys and what lines are closed, and ultimately determines what the outcome will be.

    Next in importance are the briefs and perhaps the most significant aspect of the briefs lies in the manner in which the attorneys choose to frame the issues they believe the court should decide. Selection and framing of the issues on appeal is the essence of the appellate attorney's art.

    Oral argument is for fine tuning. Oral argument is the only part of the appeal where the judges and the lawyers actually engage each other in conversation and can probe for and respond to each others' ideas, objections and responses.

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  • What kind of penalties is he getting?

    A friend of mine Stabbed 3 people the other night at a bar after getting picked on by a group of people. He only had 2 other friends and It was more like a self defense.

    Joshua’s Answer

    He will not serve any time if he not convicted. It is not possible to determine the potential sentence to which he is exposed until all charges against him have been filed. The only thing anybody can tell you for certain is that he is facing a situation that could be extremely serious and he must (1) retain an capable and respected criminal defense attorney to represent him (if he cannot afford private counsel the court will appoint an attorney to represent him) and (2) he must not discuss this case with anybody, and that means anybody, except his attorney.

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  • Do I have to hire attorney for shoplifting.

    I am 58 years old Male with no prior criminal background. I live in Kendall County, IL. I got caught shoplifting at a retail store this evening. The value is 32 dollar, I know this is really stupid, but will I got to jail for this? Do I need to hi...

    Joshua’s Answer

    Have to? Legally no, you can defend yourself without an attorney. But it is not a wise idea. I have been practicing criminal defense for over forty years. If I had a shoplifting charge, or any charge for that matter, I would retain an attorney to represent me, and would absolutely not defend my own case. If I wouldn't, you shouldn't. If you are without funds the judge will appoint counsel for you without charge to you.

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  • I need case law to reference for my situation for my defense or an appeal.

    I had a verbal lease aggreement that the landlord broke 15 months ago in novermber and december i was behind on rent after losing my job. He gave me a 5 day notice to vacate. I refused to move until he served me with court papers. On january 19...

    Joshua’s Answer

    I suggest that rather than attempting computer research, which requires a pretty good knowledge of the applicable law to begin with, you use the old book method. Go to your county law library, pull your state legal encyclopedia, start with the chapter on landlord and tenant or whatever other chapter seems most relevant to your problem, and work out from there. The encyclopedia will give a few cases and you use them to find others until eventually you find decisions that either support your position or tell you that you are out of luck and had better come up with another theory.

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  • What kind of Criminal Defense could my friend raise in this situation?

    Over this past weekend, a good friend of mine was at a picnic with my family and noticed a strange looking man about 10 feet away trying to discreetly take photographs of one of the toddlers (a niece) in our group. Out of nowhere, my friend jumpe...

    Joshua’s Answer

    Your friend is in enormous trouble, could spend the rest of his life in prison, and the "defense" you propose for him sounds worthless.

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