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Joshua Sachs

Joshua Sachs’s Answers

4,534 total


  • Is it possible to appeal a judgment after pleading guilty.

    Under the advice from my attorney, I plead guilty to violating a protection order. The evidence against me was circumstantial, at best, but the attorney thought it was best that I accept the deal the prosecutors offered. Since the judgment, my li...

    Joshua’s Answer

    Many problems here. A few of them are:

    1. Under Illinois law no appeal may be taken from a plea of guilty unless the defendant, within thirty days of judgment, files in the circuit court in which the plea was taken a motion for leave to withdraw the guilty plea. It appears that you are well past the thirty day time period, which means that you have not only forfeited your motion for leave to withdraw your guilty plea, you have also forfeited the mandatory precondition for taking an appeal.

    2. The only remedy I can see that is even theoretically available to you is a petition for post-conviction relief, but your posting strongly suggests that you have no grounds for such a petition and that if you filed one it would be denied.

    3. Similarly, you appear to have no legally cognizable grounds for withdrawing your plea (buyer's remorse is not a valid ground) and your posting tells me that if you had filed a timely motion for leave to withdraw the plea your motion would have been denied.

    4. The behavior of the plaintiff sounds like the conduct of a disturbed mind and is only coincidentally related to your plea to violating a protective order. Vacating your plea, even if you could do it without being successfully prosecuted for violation of the order, is unlikely to change the plaintiff's behavior.

    5. When you plead guilty the strength of the evidence that could have been introduced against you at trial is of no importance. Your conviction is based on your plea, not on what the evidence might have been had the case gone to trial.

    6. Illinois law recognizes no difference in probative value between direct and circumstantial evidence, and in some cases circumstantial evidence is stronger than direct.

    7. There is no reason from your posting to believe that your attorney did not give you the best possible advice and that the plea was the right decision. But even if your attorney's advice was less than ideal, it doesn't matter.

    So I do not think you are going anywhere with this. But, that said, a chat room is not the place to go for careful legal evaluation and advice. Since your situation is presenting you with a problem it would be worth your while to consult an attorney, review the situation in detail, and explore all of your options. Do not limit yourself to such solutions as taking an appeal or seeking somehow to vacate your plea. Those avenues will probably fail and there may be more useful courses that you can follow.

    Good luck.

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  • Is there a civil tort remedy for witness intimidation in a criminal case? If so, what's the category?

    Abuse of process doesn't seem right if it's the defendant in the criminal trial that was intimidating the witness. Is the only recovery option infliction of emotional distress, then? Cook County

    Joshua’s Answer

    I have never heard of anybody attempting to bring a civil action for such a thing. Report your information to the State's Attorney who is in charge of the underlying case. Prosecutors take this kind of allegation very seriously.

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  • A confession was signed following a search of a home. However, knowledge of an item given to police was not known.

    My brother signed a confession at his home following a search. Home was searched for child porn. Issue is, his exwife turned in a dvd to police saying it was his. He did not know this and signed confession! He has never been in trouble with the la...

    Joshua’s Answer

    Rights violated because the police questioned him without disclosing all of the evidence in their possession? Probably not. Will a jury believe the confession? That depends on many things including what other evidence the prosecution may present at trial. In general, and for obvious reasons, a confession is bad for the defendant. In unusual circumstances, however, it can be a blessing and I have known juries to find a defendant not guilty where a confession did not match the other evidence. But a confession always creates headaches for defendant's attorney.

    Now please, no more public discussion of this matter, not on Avvo, not online, not anywhere else. Avvo is not a confidential legal consultation. It is a public internet site that anyone, including the police, can access and read. Your brother needs to retain an experienced and respected criminal defense attorney to represent him on this very serious charge.

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  • I accepted a plea deal after my attorney mis advised on the terms of the sentence is there anything I can do for a reduction?

    My attorney told me I would have 4 years parole but I would be able to move around freely. When I was released my parole officer advised me of the actual terms of my parole which included being on house arrest for the full 4 year term. I run a few...

    Joshua’s Answer

    A couple of questions here.

    1. Is this parole or probation? Parole usually follows a term in prison. Probation is an alternative to imprisonment.

    2. What does the court's sentencing order actually say?

    3. What does the transcript of your plea (I believe you told us that you were convicted on a plea of guilty) and sentencing hearings show by way of admonishments and explanations by the judge?

    What, if anything, can be done would depend on the answers to these, and probably to other questions. It would be worth consulting a lawyer who could try to figure out what happened here and why.

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  • What happens if an investigation does not turn up enough evidence

    If someone is under investigation for a crime what are the possible scenarios if not enough evidence is found to file charges

    Joshua’s Answer

    Assuming that either the police of the prosecutor actually determines that there is not enough evidence to justify filing charges the possibilities are:

    1. The police and the prosecutor's office will close the investigation, which means they will not do any more work on the case, but if some new evidence comes to their attention in the future they will reopen the investigation at any time until the statute of limitations expires; or

    2. No charges will be filed at this point but the investigation will continue as the police try to find evidence to fill in the holes in their case, and this effort may continue until the statute of limitations expires;

    3. If the police have evidence that convinces them that somebody else committed the crime, or if the prosecutor concludes that what you did was in fact not criminal conduct, you might be notified that there will be no charges filed against you. Such notification, however, would not appear to me to be binding. New information could conceivably result in a reopening of the investigation and charges could be filed until the statute of limitations expires.

    And when does the statute of limitations expire? It can be difficult to determine because so much depends on the prosecutor's choice of charge and an imaginative prosecutor can try to find a charge that will defeat an apparently applicable statute of limitations. For that reason I do not attempt to answer limitations questions in the absence of a specific charge already filed.

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  • Would Dubble Jepority aplaie to drunk driving?

    Getting a drunk driving in one state an paying all your fines there. Come home and loose your license for not paying an reinstatement fee and a fine in anouther state?

    Joshua’s Answer

    Double jeopardy does indeed apply to drunk driving prosecutions. What you describe, however, is not double jeopardy or anything close to it.

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  • I'm going to trial on federal drug conspiracy. What does the prosecutor have to prove for me to be found guilty?

    I'm on a indictment with 20 people. I never bought or sold drugs to any of those 20 people. The only evidence is statements from people trying to get less time. But there is no statements saying that I bought or sold to any of my coconspirators. I...

    Joshua’s Answer

    Nobody, but nobody, has an easy winner in federal court. If the case against you was not strong the feds would not have bothered to charge you. They charged you because, on the basis of a substantial investigation and a lot of experience prosecuting this kind of case, they think they can convict you. Federal agents and prosecutors are far from infallible and defendants are regularly found not guilty in federal courts . . . but it is never easy and I would never tell a defendant under federal indictment that there is "a good chance of winning at trial." I know that is not what you want to hear, but it has the compensating advantage of being the truth.

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  • I'm going to trial on a federal conspiracy charge. My lawyer just told me he has been to trial once and lost. What can I do?

    I have a pro bono lawyer. He told me he has been to trial once on federal conspiracy and lost. I'm not good for the charges. I want to go to trial but with a lawyer with no experience I'm doomed. Can I ask the prosecutor to even the game and give ...

    Joshua’s Answer

    A federal prosecution is not your local police court, and a federal trial is not where the prosecutor winnows out the bad cases. A federal prosecutor will not charge a case at all unless the evidence appears to be very strong and the US Attorney's office does not try cases it does not think it can win. So the fact that your lawyer lost a criminal case in federal court does not mean a thing. All of us, including former chief United States Attorneys, see far more convictions than we do acquittals at federal jury trials. It is not your lawyer's lack of experience but the ability of intelligent, hard-working and extremely thorough federal agents to corroborate the testimony of a not-very-savory CI that is going to be your problem when you go to trial. An inexperienced lawyer who works hard and is well prepared on the law and the facts can give you a superb defense. Mr. Richman has given you some excellent thoughts. Read his answer carefully.

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  • Is it true about the Us supreme court np license is necessary to drive a motor vehicle on public highways and streets.

    To make a living called the right of a citizen like thompson vs smith 154SE 579,11 page 329 1135 the right of a citizen to travel upon the higywasy and streets in a motor vehicle with no drivers license.

    Joshua’s Answer

    Urban legend. Of course you have a right to travel from state to state, and you can go by train or bus, horse or bicycle, or on foot. But if you do not have a driver's license you cannot drive. I have not looked at Thompson but I have seen similar statements in other cases and they do not mean what you are claiming they mean. You, or somebody to whom you are listening, has taken that statement totally out of context and completely misunderstood what the court was trying to say.

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