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Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

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How public defenders are suffering across the U.S.

What can be done when funds and public defenders are scarce? John Stuart, Minnesota State Public Defender, wrote an editorial in the Star Tribune back in March on the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright to call attention to the issues facing the public defense system in our nation. It seems, writes Stuart, that access to public counsel is at risk – both locally and nationally.

 

Gideon v. Wainwright established every person’s right to legal counsel, even if they couldn’t afford a lawyer. This right was already articulated in the U.S. constitution, but the 1963 Supreme Court case made state-appointed public defenders a legal right.

 

States want to provide quality legal defense, and Minnesota is no exception. In the face of what you might call a public defense crisis, Minnesota’s doing a lot – like providing well-educated, passionate people who practice law and work long hours every day to try and accomplish their case load.

 

But that’s the problem: really long hours. Minnesota public defense lawyers are overworked, trying to handle 250 new felony cases every year when the American Bar Association says 150 should be the limit.

 

Take a look at the infographic below, illustrating and summarizing the crisis on a local and national scale alike.

 

This infographic was created on behalf of the Law Office of Carolyn Agin Schmidt. Please share it so that more people can learn about the status of criminal representation in the U.S.

 

Brooke McDonald writes and blogs for Minneapolis criminal defense attorney Carolyn Agin Schmidt.

 

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Fighting With Your Roommate? It Can Lead to IL Domestic Battery

Domestic Battery | Domestic Violence

When police are called to the scene of two people fighting, there are several possible scenarios that can occur after that point. If the two people live in the same household, there is a chance that the crime of domestic battery can be charged.

When most people think of domestic battery charges, they imagine it’s something that a person can be charged with if they fight with the spouse or significant other – not simply a person that’s your roommate.

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How Do You Legally Transport Marijuana in Illinois?

Drug Crimes | Drug Possession | Marijuana

Illinois is one of the states that has legalized marijuana, both recreationally and medicinally. While this makes many Illinois residents happy, it’s important to realize that this legalization isn’t a free pass. You can’t do anything you want with marijuana anywhere you please just because you’re over 21.

In fact, there are some really strict rules about marijuana in the state, including how to transport it. If you’re caught violating these rules, then you can face criminal penalties – even

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Law Offices of Andrew Weisberg