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Joshua Sachs

Joshua Sachs’s Answers

4,830 total


  • The police want to "talk" to me? I am so scared.

    They didn't even tell me why (,although I have a pretty good idea). They just told me to come down to the station on a certain date at a specific time, so we can "talk". What is going to happen? I am so scared. Should I just blow it off?

    Joshua’s Answer

    I will tell you why they want to talk to you. They are trying to build a case against you for something and they want you to fill in the holes for them, either in whole or in part, so that they successfully prosecute you. Put this matter immediately in the hands of a good criminal defense attorney and have no contact with the police. If anybody is to deal with the police, it should be your lawyer, not you.

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  • Does does "dismissal" mean?

    What does "dismissed" mean exactly...? Does this mean the judge thought I was innocent or does it mean the same thing as something like a hung jury- he is neutral? At one point the judge asked the officer why he didn't arrest me and the cop di...

    Joshua’s Answer

    Dismissal can mean very different things in different states and under different circumstances. It may or may not mean that the case against you is over. Moreover, in my experience (which is not in Pennsylvania) many judges use the term loosely and inaccurately. What effect a dismissal order may have on your eligibility for expungement will depend on the provisions of your state law.

    You should put your question to the attorney who represented you in court. If you went to court without an attorney, find a lawyer in your state who can look at the court docket and explain to you what actually happened and what the legal consequences will be.

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  • What kind of sentence are we looking at? Would probation even be considered? He is willing to do double the time of probation.

    My fiance was arrested for aggrevated battery on a police officer in Dupage Co IL. He head butted him, not hard, the officer is fine. He was drinking, he is on lithium and he took some kind of herbal pill. He is bi-polar and is seeing a psycholog...

    Joshua’s Answer

    A judge might consider much of that evidence as mitigating, but not necessarily so. Even if it were to be taken as mitigation it would not necessarily override his two fairly recent prior convictions for violent offenses, which most judges would consider seriously aggravating, especially since he has apparently already served time and a period of parole, which did not prevent him from committing a third violent offense. Yes, if he is convicted of the currently charged offense then probation will be considered as a possible sentence. But that doesn't mean he will get it.

    Your fiancé needs a lawyer who will see what can be done either to defeat the charge against him or, if that cannot be done, then to present a strong case in mitigation and make a showing why some alternative to prison is an appropriate, adequate and safe disposition for a young man who may have seriously violent tendencies.

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  • After the State Supreme Court, which court does my appeal go to next? The US Supreme Ct Certiorari or Federal Dist Ct Habeas?

    US Supreme Ct, or Federal Dist Ct?

    Joshua’s Answer

    Well, to be technical, your appeal is over. You cannot appeal to the United States Supreme Court, which no longer has any appellate jurisdiction, but you can seek review of any federal issues in your case by petition for writ of certiorari. So that is one option.

    The other option you ask about is federal habeas corpus. You should not attempt to seek federal habeas corpus relief until you have exhausted all of your available state court remedies. That usually means that you must appeal your case as far as the Illinois Supreme Court and then that you must seek review of any non-appealable claims through Illinois state post-conviction review, and that you must appeal an unsuccessful result on post-conviction through the Illinois Supreme Court. Only then will a federal court consider your federal claims for review.

    Remember that any claims you have that are based entirely on Illinois state law (e.g. statutory speedy trial issues, defects in the charge, most evidentiary rulings, most claims of defective jury instructions) cannot be raised on either certiorari review of federal habeas corpus. The Illinois Supreme Court has the final say on all state law issues. The federal courts can only review those aspects of your case (e.g. constitutional speedy trial issues, due process claims, ineffective assistance of counsel claims, bias in jury selection) that involve a question of the federal constitution or other federal law.

    P.S. I have retagged your question "appeals" rather than "federal crime" because your question appears to arise out of a state, not a federal, criminal prosecution.

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  • Where can I find an attorney who specialises in filing for commutation of sentence (clemency)?

    Where can I find a reputable yet affordable attorney in/around Chicago, who can help my fiancé file for clemency. He is looking for commutation of his sentence, not pardon or expungement as he is still currently incarcerated and many lawyers seem ...

    Joshua’s Answer

    A clemency is always a steep climb. When I am asked to represent a client seeking pardon or commutation I recommend that a "mitigation specialist" be brought onto the team. These specialists come from various backgrounds, some in law, some in psychology, others in social work, etc., and they have developed techniques of investigating and presenting mitigating evidence for the defense in death penalty cases. Because Illinois no longer has a death penalty these capable, dedicated and experienced people are often available to assist counsel on other types of cases. Bringing this kind of help on board adds to the expense, but makes for a better and more persuasive presentation and it is something to discuss with the attorney whom you choose to handle the clemency petition.

    Other than that, unless you can find an attorney who has served as counsel for the Prisoner Review Board I doubt you are going to find anybody whose practice concentrates in pardons and commutations. But any thorough and conscientious attorney who knows how to work up and present a strong mitigation case, with or without a "mitigation specialist", can help you. Just remember, getting executive clemency is tough and far more petitions are denied than granted.

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  • After expungement has been completed can i legally answer no criminal or arrest record for police or correctional job.

    I want to apply for a correctional or law enforcement job. When question arise about criminal background can i legally deny or withhold information that I've ever been arrested if charges have been expunged.

    Joshua’s Answer

    Not in Illinois. According to the 2016 edition of the handbook on Illinois Criminal Records published by the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, the provision of the Illinois Human Rights Act that prohibits the making of employment decisions on the basis of records that have been expunged, sealed or impounded does not apply to state agencies, law enforcement, units of local government, school districts or certain other specified agencies and organizations. Similarly, anybody applying for a license to practice law in Illinois is required to disclose arrests which have been expunged.

    So if you are looking for work in law enforcement or corrections, you should be prepared to disclose and explain any such incident in your background. It might be wise before you send in your application to speak to an attorney who represents law enforcement officers in disciplinary matters.

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  • Can I file a Habeas Petition US District Court after losing in the State Supreme Court, even though I am not incarcerated now?

    Can I file a Habeas Petition to the Federal District Court following loss of my case in the State Supreme Court, even though I am not incarcerated now?

    Joshua’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I have not looked that up for a long time. My recollection is that if you are still on parole, supervised release, or restraint of any kind, then yes you are within the scope of federal habeas corpus relief. If, on the other hand, you have entirely completed your entire sentence, both the custodial and non-custodial portions, and are no longer under any restraint as a result of your conviction, then you may be beyond the point where federal habeas corpus can help you. This is, as I said, my recollection of research that I did perhaps two years ago.

    Please keep in mind that federal habeas corpus litigation is ferociously intricate and complicated. Even among capable and experienced criminal defense attorneys, relatively few lawyers are at home with this kind of procedure.

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  • Do clients represented by public defenders have a right to receive discovery information from attorney in criminal case

    im wondering if client who has been charged with a crime have a right to get copies of discovery from his attorney including the video of surveillance of the crime. can attorney refuse to allow client have a copy of the discovery and also how do ...

    Joshua’s Answer

    That varies from state to state. In Illinois, for example, defendants can see the discovery and review it with counsel, but they are not supposed to get copies of their own. The law is usually the same whether the defendant has retained counsel or a public defender. Sometimes it can be hard to get a lot preparation time with the PD because of very heavy caseloads in the PD's office.

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  • Have I "exhausted" my state appeals / remedies to be able to habeas federally?

    I have a "high court misdemeanor" conviction in Michigan. I did not file a timely direct appeal (retained counsel did not file) a year and a half went by, I fired them and received a refund. Filed a 6.500 motion for plea removal for the charge / e...

    Joshua’s Answer

    I won't try to answer your exhaustion question because the answer depends on Michigan state law, with which I am not familiar. Just remember that there can be circumstances in which the same procedural facts that get you over the "exhaustion of state remedies" hurdle will be the procedural facts that can sink on the next hurdle of "state procedural default". I know of no procedure more complicated and treacherous than federal habeas corpus. If you can find a lawyer who really knows this field, and there are not many who do, you will be much better off.

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  • What does it mean that a count as been dismissed/superseded by indictment?

    The other parent to my child has been arrested and charged with two class x felonies for possession of meth and meth precursors, over 500 grams. The meth she is charged with was in liquid form still in the cooking process in what the police referr...

    Joshua’s Answer

    In Illinois a criminal charge is normally initiated by a charging document called a "complaint." The complaint is legally sufficient to get the case moving, and a misdemeanor, that is, a less serious type of charge, can actually be prosecuted on the basis of the complaint. In order to proceed on a felony, a more serious type of charge, the prosecutor must get the approval of either a judge or of a grand jury. If the prosecutor chooses to apply to the grand jury, then the grand jury itself will issue the formal charge, which is called an indictment. When the felony indictment issued by the grand jury is filed with the court, it supersedes, i.e., replaces, the original complaint. The complaint is then dismissed and the case proceeds on the basis of the indictment. That is what has happened in the case you describe, and it is an entirely normal procedure.

    I trust that your friend has an attorney representing her, either private counsel or an attorney appointed by the court. She is obviously facing a very serious situation. Yes, 6-30 is the statutory range for a Class X felony in Illinois, but under unusual circumstances the sentence can actually be much higher.

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