Skip to main content
Joshua Sachs

Joshua Sachs’s Answers

4,432 total


  • I took a plea that required a maximum 10 year registration period on the sex offender registry in 2004.

    since the plea they have enacted retroactive registration laws and new registration lengths. can I enforce my plea agreement? I would have came off the registry last year having already fulfilled all my requirements of my plea deal.

    Joshua’s Answer

    A very difficult question to answer. When I last litigated a similar question quite a few years ago the answer that I got from the courts in Illinois rejected your position. Perhaps other states have decided differently. The problem that you have is that the courts tend to consider registration as a collateral consequence of the conviction, and therefore not subject to the prohibition on ex post facto increase in punishment. Unrealistic? Unreasonable? I thought so, too, but I believe that the majority of courts have taken the same view as Illinois. You might want to explore this issue with counsel who is prepared to look into it for you.

    See question 
  • Is a state appeals court opinion controlling (or merely instructive) over a federal court?

    Is a state appeals court opinion controlling (or merely instructive) over a federal court from the same state dealing with the same question?

    Joshua’s Answer

    See my answer to your other posting of this question.

    See question 
  • Is a state appeals court opinion controlling (or merely instructive) over a federal court from the same state?

    Is a state appeals court opinion controlling (or merely instructive) over a federal court from the same state dealing with the same question?

    Joshua’s Answer

    If this is a state court case and an issue of state law, the state opinion will control (in the absence of contrary state authority) and the federal decision will be . . . interesting and sometimes useful but is not binding. If this is a state court case involving a federal question, the state court will recognize the federal decision as being (again, in the absence of contrary authority) an authoritative statement of federal law. If your case is in federal court, the federal court will recognize a state court decision as an authoritative statement of state law. A federal court will seldom site a state court decision on a federal issue, and only in very unusual circumstances and such a decision really carries no legal weight.

    All that being said, keep in mind that it is relatively rare for a decision to be so precisely on point as to control the outcome of a case. Lawyers cite cases all the time, but usually we are trying to weave a web with them, not to hit a bull's-eye.

    See question 
  • How can an ex-cop get information about a police incident when no charges were made?

    A boyfriend broke up with me and I took it very hard. He lives with his parents; I know where they keep the key. I knew they'd be gone and I stole all of my ex-boyfriend's clothes out of his room. A friend called the cops and they came to my apart...

    Joshua’s Answer

    A lot of people knew about this. Your ex-BF and his parents knew. Presumably they all told one or two close friends, who of course promised to keep it a secret and only told one or two close, trusted special friends who were solemnly sworn to secrecy. Maybe the cops talked to their buddies. Who knows? Word gets around. Here is the deal: You are a very, very lucky young lady. You should have been prosecuted for burglary. You weren't . . . yet. Leave well enough alone.

    See question 
  • Is this even legal?

    I'm 17 my mom called the cops on me for having a bowl and a bong and said she didn't want them to press charges but just get rid of it. The cop said he was going to press the charges himself because I didn't seem sorry. If I do get charged what wo...

    Joshua’s Answer

    A person who reports criminal conduct to the police has no control over what the police do with the information. None. If you are not prepared for a criminal prosecution and, potentially, a criminal conviction to result, don't pick up the phone. Once you blow the whistle it is out of your hands.

    See question 
  • How can I get a pardon from the governor for an arson case from 20years ago

    This is my only seviere case ..

    Joshua’s Answer

    A pardon in Illinois is requested by submitting a petition for executive clemency to the Prisoner Review Board. Here is a link to some very basic information available on the Board's website: https://www.illinois.gov/prb/Pages/prbexclemex.aspx The decision whether or not to grant the pardon is made personally by the Governor.

    I agree with my colleagues that relatively few requests for pardon are granted. The probability of success is somewhat improved by retaining an attorney who will conduct a through mitigation investigation and assemble a strong presentation for you, but that can be costly and success is still a long shot. I wish I could be more encouraging. Twenty years of crime-free, socially useful, life would certainly count in your favor. "This is my only severe case . . ." leads me to worry about what else you have that you do not consider "severe" but which might look different in the eyes of the Prisoner Review Board and of the Governor. I wish you good luck.

    See question 
  • How does my son go about getting his case appealed

    My son was found guilty of murder.He doesn't get sentenced until August 2

    Joshua’s Answer

    He should begin by asking his trial attorney. Typically an appeal is initiated by the filing of a notice of appeal in the proper court (in most states, that means in the trial court) within the time required by state law (usually somewhere between ten and sixty days after sentencing). It is the final duty of trial counsel to file a timely notice of appeal if asked to do so by the defendant, so all your son has to do to initiate the appeal is to tell his trial lawyer that he wants to appeal, and the trial lawyer is required to file the proper notice. After that what happens depends on state law. If your family can afford to retain an attorney for the appeal, begin now to choose a good attorney experienced in criminal appellate practice in Georgia. If you cannot afford to retain counsel, ask the trial attorney what provisions Georgia makes for appointment of counsel on appeal.

    Do not think, even for a moment, about self-representation on appeal. Appellate work is totally non-intuitive and is a demanding assignment even for the most experienced appellate counsel. Attempting it as a do-it-yourself project is to ask for virtually certain failure.

    See question 
  • If a criminal case is dismissed due to insufficient evidence can anything from that case be used in a dcfs appeal or trial

    Was arrested on meth charges and test results from state cops came back as not drugs it was also a illegal search

    Joshua’s Answer

    Sorry but your question is too confusing to attempt an answer. Your situation sounds potentially serious, and one does not look for legal help in a serious situation online. One looks to a good attorney for representation.

    See question 
  • How do I withdraw the guilty plea for two felony charges of a controlled substance?

    The attorney I had made an agreement with the states attorney for a 1040 probation states attorney says because the police report stated I also had paraphernalia though I was never given a ticket or was it sent to a crime lab or shown as evidence ...

    Joshua’s Answer

    Illinois law permits a motion for leave to withdraw a plea of guilty to be filed within thirty days of sentencing. It is within the discretion of the judge whether or not to grant the motion. In other words, the judge might let you withdraw your plea, or then again might not. It will be your burden to convince the judge that your request should be granted, and it will not be an easy task. If the thirty days have already passed it is too late for the motion and you will be left to the difficult remedy of attempting to withdraw your plea by a way of a post-conviction petition.

    Keep in mind that the real danger of asking to withdraw a plea is that you might succeed. If that happens the case reverts to square one, any charges that were dismissed pursuant to the plea are reinstated, additional charges become possible, and you are back potentially facing whatever sentences you initially pled guilty in order to avoid. Another plea offer from the prosecutor is unlikely, and you will have to assume that your case will go to trial and run the risk of conviction. In others words, asking leave to withdraw a plea is like running back inside a house that is on fire. But if you want to take the risk, file the motion. I would talk to your attorney first, and very seriously.

    See question