Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Finding of Not Guilty After Trial For UUW

Today, we obtained a verdict of not guilty after a bench trial at the Bridgeview courthouse for an Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapon case. I realized that the state had a weak case from the very beginning. The officer testified that he was responding to a call of "shots fired." He was driving around in the neighborhood where the shots were allegedly fired and saw my client sitting on a porch with 2 other individuals. He pulled over his squad car in front of the home and asked the individuals to come over to his vehicle so he could talk to them. The officer testified that when my client stood up he saw a handgun on the stairs right where my client had been sitting. He placed my client under arrest and took him down to the station. About 90 minutes later, the officer said he questioned my client and that he admitted that the gun was his. I was able to show the court that my client was with 2 other individuals on the porch, the alleged confession was not recorded and not in writing, there was no other witness to the alleged confession other than this one officer, the state failed to bring the gun that was alleged to have been recovered to court and that there was no other evidence that the gun belonged to our client. The court found my client not guilty and the long ordeal for my client is finally over. My client is 28 years and has no criminal record. At the time of the arrest, he was a security guard at a store. He had been working security for over 3 years. He lost his job after this arrest and has been unable to get a job anywhere. He can now will file a petition to expunge the arrest and have it completely removed from his record so he can move on with his life without this terrible experience haunting him.

The lesson of this case is that police officers have to try to resist the urge to always make an arrest. Instead of just seizing the handgun and destroying it and being grateful that a dangerous weapon has been taken off of the streets, the police could not just leave it alone and had to find someone to hold responsible even though the evidence of my clients guilt was thin. The fact is that any of the 3 individuals on that porch could have been arrested and my client had to be the unlucky winner of that competition. The result for my client was devastating. For the past year he has been out of work and forced to move back with his parents to survive. You can only imagine the sense of relief he felt when he walked out of court this afternoon.

For more information about the Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders, P.C., visit us at www.thelegaldefenders.com or call us anytime at 1-800-228-7295.

No comments:

The Legal Defenders, PC

70 West Madison, Ste 1400 * Chicago * IL 60602 * Phone: (800) 228-7295 * Fax: (800) 604-0507