Our client, a young man on federal mandatory supervised release (formerly known as parole), was charged with a misdemeanor obscenity. He was accused of printing obscene images of children at a printer at a Walgreens located in south suburban Cook County. Over one hundred images were part of the incident, all depicting underage girls in their underwear and suggestive poses.
To make matters worse for our client, a conviction on this charge, even if it did not result in jail time, would have resulted in a federal charge of Violation of Mandatory Supervised Release. As he had a very strict trial judge in that federal drug matter, and because he had served a little less than a decade for that federal drug crime, the likelihood was high that a violation of mandatory supervised release would have resulted in federal prison time.
He said that he chose us because he realized the stakes were high, and saw our excellent client reviews that referred to our holistic winning defense strategies.
After entering the case, attorney Huma Rashid obtained discovery from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. After a comprehensive and detailed review of the discovery, the Wigell Criminal Defense Team drafted numerous pre-trial motions in limine, which are normally reserved for serious felony or death penalty cases, and not one-count misdemeanor complaints. That’s because at Wigell Criminal Defense, we treat every case, even a straightforward misdemeanor, like a death penalty case.
The numerous and detailed motions in limine, making numerous requests of the court to provide clarity and/or limit the evidence that the State could present at trial, resulted in lengthy arguments and a hearing that lasted for two days.
It was decided, upon discussions with our client, that the matter should be set for trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County. This was done not only because of the legal strength of the defense’s arguments (although the fact pattern alone was weak and indicated a finding of guilt), but because of the ramifications and likely federal prison time that would result if the misdemeanor conviction resulted in a violation of mandatory supervised release.
At trial, our client did not testify, choosing instead to assert his fifth amendment right not to testify. An an effective motion for a directed finding and a strong closing argument revealed the legal weaknesses in the prosecution’s state such that the trial judge found that the State was unable to meet its burden to convict our client on a charge of obscenity, despite the fact that the images as described in the complaint were of scantily clad young women.
Thus, our client was found NOT GUILTY of the misdemeanor charge of obscenity.
The client and his girlfriend were overjoyed at the excellent result obtained by the Wigell Criminal Defense Team. He was also relieved, as an acquittal on the misdemeanor charge would not result in a federal charge of violation of mandatory supervised release, and he would thus not be facing new federal charges that would likely cause him to be incarcerated in the Bureau of Prisons.
Many people think of misdemeanor charges are not that serious, or unlikely to do lifelong damage. But misdemeanors are quite serious; all criminal charges are very serious, as they expose the person to a loss of freedom, a loss of reputation, and a conviction on their criminal record. Our client was very grateful for the seriousness with which Wigell Criminal Defense treated his case.