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This is my second post in my series on defending against prostitution or solicitation charges in Chicago, Illinois. My last post discussed the consequences of being charged with solicitation. This article will discuss how such cases implicate your search and seizure rights. Police must have probable cause to arrest Chicago residents for solicitation or they risk violating the United States Constitution. The police must establish that they have a reasonable belief that a crime was committed in order to make an arrest. If you believe that law enforcement violated your rights then contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately.
Chicago Courts are required to follow the United States and Illinois Constitutions, which require the police have probable cause before making an arrest. When you are placed under arrest the police essentially seize your body. In reality, police do not always meet the probable cause standard and may risk having any evidence they obtained after your arrest getting thrown out of court. Evidence could include statements from you or any witnesses. For example, if you were standing on a street corner in a short skirt and high heels, that is insufficient to demonstrate probable cause to arrest you for solicitation. Similarly, if you are at a hotel bar and talking to a stranger, and the bartender over hears you discussing jewelry, that is not enough evidence to arrest you for solicitation or prostitution.
Motions to Suppress Evidence based on wrongful arrest are sensitive to the particular circumstances of your case. Your lawyer will review all the police reports and then interview you to hear your side. Then he or she will interview any necessary witnesses and check to see if there are any 911 calls or other audio recordings, as well as any video recordings from police or businesses. He or she will also look into the backgrounds of any witnesses against you to determine whether or not they have a history for dishonesty or other motive to lie or even to be mistaken. It is important that your have qualified Chicago criminal defense counsel to assist you when you are arrested for solicitation.
If it appears the facts in your case warrant bringing a motion, your lawyer can bring a Motion to Suppress to try to keep any evidence discovered after your arrest out of court. Paperwork must be filed with the court in advance stating the grounds for the motion and requesting a hearing date. The motion hearing is in open court and involves the testimony of live witnesses. These witnesses include the police officer(s) who arrested you and any other witnesses, such as someone driving a car, or a bartender. The witnesses will testify and your lawyer will cross-examine them and try to expose their motivations to lie or other evidence indicating they may be dishonest or misconstruing facts. If it appears that your case involves simple mistake, your attorney will ask questions designed to demonstrate the mistake. The judge is the fact-finder in a motion hearing and is responsible for determining whether or not he or she believes that there was probable cause to make an arrest.
These motions are fact specific, but also are dependent on a broad set of cases that set precedent for what constitutes probable cause. It is imperative that you obtain a Chicago defense attorney if you believe you were arrested without probable cause on a solicitation or prostitution charge. Contact my Orland Park office today to schedule a consultation.
I also handle matters in areas of Cook County including Glenview, Palos Park, Oak Lawn, Oak forest, Blue Island, Palos Heights, Palos Hills, Alsip, Bridgeview, Lemont, Orland Hills, Country Club Hills, Hickory Hills, and Tinley Park, in DuPage County areas including Downers Grove, Naperville, Woodridge, and Darien, in Kane County areas including Aurora, Elgin and Geneva, and the Will County cities of Joliet, Bolingbrook, Mokena, Frankfort, New Lenox, Lockport, Homer Glen, Romeoville, and Manhattan.