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Joshua Sachs

Joshua Sachs’s Answers

4,520 total

  • Charged w/ municipal ordinance (retail theft) court date is coming up next month, this is my first violation, what to do next?

    First time offense, first time arrested, items amount 25.27 which were general household item, I don't know if I should hire a lawyer, or take a class or just wait until my court date and go from there. Arrested in Darien,IL

    Joshua’s Answer

    I would talk to an attorney in Du Page County. Municipal ordinance violations are handled differently by different municipalities. Some prosecute them in court, others have a municipal hearing officer system, some have a fine-and-compromise arrangement. Your attorney can check the municipal code or talk to the corporation counsel. It may be possible to get you out of this without a record.

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  • Question about tolling an appeal

    A friend filed a pro se lawsuit in federal court about 4 years ago. The judge immediately dismissed the case with prejudice, without the defendant getting a chance to answer or file any motion. The plaintiff didn't mail the order of the judge dism...

    Joshua’s Answer

    I have a hard time understanding how the plaintiff could assert his own failure to serve a copy of the decision on the defendant (which may or may not have been required) can be of any assistance to the culpable plaintiff in extending the time in which plaintiff can appeal. The defendant of course cannot and would not appeal because defendant won the case and obviously the defendant suffered no prejudice from a summary dismissal. I don't see how plaintiff is going anywhere with this.

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  • I am 19 and just started dating a girl who turns 16 in a few months. We do not plan on having sex. Is this legal?

    Hello! Thanks for taking time to look at this. I just started dating my friend who is sixteen (and turns seventeen/the age of consent at the end of the year); I am nineteen. We will not be having sexual intercourse until she is at least at the ...

    Joshua’s Answer

    Perfectly legal as long as there is no sex at this point. Once she reaches the age of consent than mutually consensual sex is no longer prohibited because of her age alone, although there might still be problems if you stand in certain relationships to her (e.g. guardian, teacher, coach, therapist, etc.) or if there is some problem specific to her that might render her purported consent ineffective. That said, here is where a cynical old lawyer sees a danger. You have a nice relationship with this young lady, you hold hands, you go to public places together, you spend some time alone together, everything is great and everything is clean and legal. Then you break up . . . badly. There are very bitter feelings. She goes to the police, or to her parents, or to a counselor at school, and claims you had sex while you were under age. These things happen. Whether there is truth to the accusation or not, you have a serious felony to worry about, and a touch one to defend. So protect yourself. Don't be alone with her until she is of age. It is only a few months. If you care for each other you can wait.

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  • Is it helpful to have an attorney from the state/county where I live 30 miles from where I was convicted?

    cold case Criminal Complaint. Convicted using hearsay. If that's against the law who would I contact. Email my social worker at

    Joshua’s Answer

    The appeal must, of course, be filed and pursued in the courts of the state in which you were convicted and the attorney representing you must either be licensed in that state or must receive special permission. In counties near state borders you may find many attorneys who are licensed in both states. I would not put an appeal in the hands of an attorney who is unfamiliar with appellate practice in the state in which you are proceeding. Where the attorney lives and practices is, by itself, of no importance.

    Pardon me but did you ask this same question a year or two ago? It sounds very similar to another posting from the Illinois/Wisconsin border area.

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  • Why does the DA always believes a person filing a charge ? How does the DA know if this person is lying are telling the truth ?

    Why does the judge always believe the accuser and never the defendant ? Seems like a conspired conspiracy by complainer, DA and Judge. I don't know why they make all these motions, why don't they just have you arrested for this crime because the...

    Joshua’s Answer

    The police and the prosecutor winnow out a large number of complaints that they do not believe or that they do not consider valid or meritorious. Other cases never make it past preliminary hearing or grand jury proceedings. In my experience, when cases actually go to trial the juries and judges are, or at least try to be, discriminating about what testimony to accept and what testimony to reject.

    Federal court is a different story completely. Federal cases are extensively investigated and the federal authorities typically will not prosecute a case where they are not fairly confident that they can get a conviction at trial. These cases more often depend on massive paper investigations than on the credibility of witnesses.

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  • 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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