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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.

 

Our Blog

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Facing prostitution charges in Chicago can be an overwhelming and distressing experience, particularly for individuals who have experienced exploitation or trauma. In this blog post, we will examine the importance of trauma-informed defense strategies and how criminal defense attorneys can provide compassionate and supportive representation to survivors of exploitation in prostitution trials. By prioritizing the well-being of their clients and understanding the complex factors underlying their involvement in prostitution, defense attorneys can effectively advocate for their rights and mitigate the [...]

How Chicago’s Legal Landscape Shapes Drug Possession Charges

Drug Crimes | Drug Possession

In understanding drug possession charges in Chicago, it’s essential to explore how the city’s legal landscape has evolved over time to shape the enforcement of drug laws. From historical policies to contemporary approaches, Chicago’s approach to drug possession offenses is influenced by various factors, including legislative changes, law enforcement practices, and societal attitudes toward drug use and addiction.

Historical Context

Like many cities across the United States, Chicago has grappled with drug-related issues for decades. In the mid-20th century, the [...]