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Joshua Sachs

Joshua Sachs’s Answers

5,154 total


  • For ease of reading, I'm trying to be as specific as possible below, about the newest Illinois eavesdropping law...

    Assuming everyone in this situation is a private citizen: If I am on speakerphone in a conversation, with somebody that I'm afraid of, and suspect that they will commit a crime against me, can I request that a friend record the conversation tha...

    Joshua’s Answer

    My guess, without sitting down to research the question, is that your friend could testify in court as to the conversation over the speakerphone but a recording under the circumstances you describe (1) could subject both you and your friend to criminal prosecution and (2) would not be admissible in court. The concept of admissibility does not apply to police to police investigations, but evidence obtained by the police through exploitation of the primary illegality (in this case any information that the police might find by following up on the illegal recording) might ultimately be inadmissible in court, although that would be a difficult and delicate question.

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  • Can the government state or federal obtain an indictment without the grand jury testimony of the state or federal agent?

    My paralegal friend told me that any potential defendant can be indicted by a state or federal grand jury without the testimony and or assistance of the state or federal investigating agent, because they only need to receive evidence and or inform...

    Joshua’s Answer

    There is no particular type or form of evidence that must be presented to a grand jury. The prosecutor seeking an indictment must present enough evidence to convince the grand jury that probable cause exists to charge a crime, but any evidence that satisfies that burden will do, and the choice of evidence is up to the prosecutor. So the answer to your question is no, the case agent need not testify before the grand jury. As a practical matter, at least in state grand jury proceedings, the prosecutor often prefers to present only the investigating detective or case agent so as to more easily control the evidence presented to the grand jury and to limit the discoverable material that will be available to the defendant. But must the agent testify? No.

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  • Hi does anyone know a good criminal defense lawyer around Springfield or peoria illinois?

    I have driving on a revoked license and a speeding ticket that I need a lawyers help with, please

    Joshua’s Answer

    Fortunately there are many. As one of my colleagues pointed out, we are not supposed to offer recommendations on this forum. Unless you know lawyers who can give you a recommendation based on personal experience (which is the best way to go) you could start with the Find-a-Lawyer function on the top of this page, ask about traffic or criminal defense lawyers in Springfield or Peoria, check some profiles, maybe look at the kind of answers that the lawyers you find have give to questions, contact those who look like good possibilities, and choose the one with whom you are most comfortable. You are down in Abraham Lincoln country, so you should be able to find someone.

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  • What is the sentence for arson on a first time offender ?

    My boyfriend turned 21 and has been arrested on his birthday for arson. He was caught on tape pushing a box towards a garage and setting the box on fire. The fire soon after began to catch onto the garage and damaged the bottom left side of the ga...

    Joshua’s Answer

    So here is what could happen if you do not ask Avvo to take down your posting.

    Some police officer somewhere, monitoring this site, will contact the Chicago police arson unit and call their attention to it. The facts you have posted will make it easy to figure out whose case you are describing. The police will show up at your door, perhaps with a warrant to seize your computer, which would result in them find this message on your hard drive. You then get served with a subpoena to testify at trial against your B. If you refuse to do so you can be locked up for contempt of court. If you deny that it is him on the tape you could be prosecuted for perjury given what you put it your posting.

    I am not saying that this will happen, but I am saying that it could and it might.

    As I have written here many times, when a criminal investigation or charge is involved, the internet is your enemy, not your friend. And as they used to say back during World War II, "Loose lips sink ships."

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  • Is it true in federal court that if you tried to bail out or fight your case they can put enhancements on ur charges

    is it true in federal court that they can put enhancements on your charges if you try to bail out or fight your case I thought that was cruel punishment and I thought anyone has the right to bail it's not like the Chargers or murder of any kind i...

    Joshua’s Answer

    It is hard to see how seeking pre-trial release could ever support an enhancement. Violating the terms of your release can certainly increase a sentence in the event of conviction. Depending on the circumstances it might or might not support an obstruction enhancement. Merely taking a case to trial does not support an enhancement, although it might often foreclose reductions for acceptance of responsibility and, obviously, for a prompt plea agreement.

    The problem comes if you go to trial and testify or present evidence that is completely inconsistent with the jury's verdict, meaning that the jury must have found your testimony or evidence to be untrue. In that case the government might request an obstruction enhancement and, depending very much on the details of the case, the judge might impose it. Of course, if you are actually proved to have committed perjury then you can expect the enhancement.

    So whether certain enhancements are imposed or not is always a very complicated issue. As far as your invocation of constitutional issues, I do not know of any court that would hold that increasing a sentence for a release violation, by enhancement or otherwise, was "cruel" or otherwise unconstitutional. Enhancing a sentence merely for taking a case to trial would indeed present due process problems, but that is not the way it works.

    If you are convicted in federal court your lawyer will have plenty of hard work to do when it comes time to prepare for sentencing. Fortunately, at least in the federal district where I practice, district judges are often persuaded by the defense on sentencing issues.

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  • Can a letter from an employer be used in a criminal case to prove an alibi that you were working at the time of the crime?

    I was charged with criminal damage to a vehicle, at the time the crime occurred i was at work so therefore i couldn't have committed the crime. My lawyer says i cant use this letter from my employer even though its on a letterhead. He says it can'...

    Joshua’s Answer

    The letter is worthless as evidence in court because it classic hearsay, an out-of-court statement offered to prove the truth of what it says. The person who wrote the letter, must appear in court as a witness and testify under oath and subject to cross-examination. Anybody who saw you at work that day can testify as an alibi witness, but letters, affidavits, etc. are not admissible as evidence. If your work has a clock-in, punch-in or other record keeping system, the keeper of records for the business could appear as a witness to testify as to your time card or sign-in..

    It is not a good sign that when your lawyer tells you something intended to help the defense of your case, your response is, "I don't believe this to be true."

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  • Can a undercover cop send you nudes as a trap to try to get you arrested?

    Can cops send you naked pictures to try to get you arrested for sexting or something of that nature? Thanks.

    Joshua’s Answer

    You seem to be asking whether, if the police were to lure you into illegal sexual conduct by sending you such pictures, you might be able to defend against a criminal prosecution on the grounds of "entrapment." Your lawyer might very well want to look at the possibility of such a defense, but entrapment is always a very tough sell and juries seldom go for it. The jury would have to determine both that (1) you were actually induced to commit a crime by the government's conduct, which means that government seriously leaned on you and persuaded you, not that it just put the opportunity in your path to see if you picked it up, and (2) that you were not predisposed to commit that kind of crime anyway. 'Tain't easy. Most defendants who rely on entrapment are found guilty.

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  • Did I pass my background check?

    In 2015 I was found guilty of possesion of paraphernalia and was placed on supervision was withheld. I completed the supervision satisfactorally and it was terminated. I was then arrested again for possesion of cannabis 30<500 grams. I was found g...

    Joshua’s Answer

    Actually, that is not a legal question even though it might superficially appear to be one. Legally speaking there is no such thing as "passing" or "failing" a background check. The background should reveal, one hopes accurately, your history of encounters with the criminal law to the extent that such information is available in public records. But what to make of that information, in other words, whether you "passed" or "failed" is a private decision for the employer. An employer who wants to hire a former prisoner who has been released after doing thirty years for murder can do so, and some do. An employer who, at the other extreme, will not take a chance on an employee with any criminal conviction is normally free to do so.
    So if your particular employer is satisfied with the result of the check, then you passed in the only way that matters. End of story. Congratulations.

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  • What forms do I Fill out when II get out a Notice of Seizure

    A Drug Enforcement Team went to the house and took two cars and gave me a paper that said Notice of Seizure for forfeiture so where do we get the forms to file a written claim and give it to the forfeiture counsel

    Joshua’s Answer

    What you want to do might be very dangerous. By filing the form you may be claiming ownership to a car that has been involved in drug transactions, and you could be making it easier for the prosecutor to send you straight to prison. I have seen it happen more than once. Please, before you do anything about this, talk to a criminal defense attorney in Oregon. Your discussions will be strictly confidential under the law, so tell the lawyer the absolute, total truth no matter what it is.

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