Albukerk & Associates is a full service trial defense firm in Chicago, IL.
We have over 24 years of experience with every type of case and charge. From traffic to murder cases Albukerk and Associates has already handled your specific charge. We have developed a reputation for handling the most difficult cases. We have successfully defended clients who have been tricked into giving false confessions to murders that they did not commit. We have won child sex charge cases. We are the only firm in the State of Illinois who has successfully defended a doctor accused of Medicaid fraud. We are the only firm in Chicago that has won a Sexually Violent Person case. Our drug defenses have involved full re-creations of the scene of the alleged crime, using actors, cameras and props to show that the officer could not have seen what he claimed in his police reports. We proved the officer was lying.
An arrest or being charged with a crime can be a very humbling and difficult situation. It is extremely important that you understand your legal rights and protect yourself. Since 1987 the courts have recognized and allowed DNA analysis to be used as evidence. Literally hundreds of people who have been convicted and are serving prison time have been proven not guilty. The lesson is that good representation is priceless. A defendant accepting the investigation performed by the police and not having his own investigation performed is tantamount to having the police represent you at trial. Nick Albukerk will ensure that everything possible is done to give you the best possible chance to win your case.
Albukerk & Associates are reputed trial defense lawyers in Chicago, IL, experienced in all aspects of trial defense & DUI law. Contact them to know more about the other legal services they provide.
CHICAGO THEFT CRIMES LAWYER
If you are arrested for a theft related crime, there are many factors that will be used to determine whether you end up fighting a felony or a misdemeanor. Theft crimes are some of the most common offenses and with aggressive representation can often be mitigated.
Misdemeanor Theft Crimes
Generally speaking, theft of something with value under $150 is a misdemeanor. While this is considered a misdemeanor crime, the offense can be quite severe. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor theft, your next theft offense can be charged as a felony, regardless of the value of the property taken.
Theft crimes are also considered crimes of moral turpitude and can have severe effects on everything from employment to immigration status in the United States. A skilled aggressive attorney at Albukerk & Associates can help assure that your rights are protected and your case is fought as effectively as possible.
FELONY THEFT CRIMES
Felony theft crimes can range anywhere from a misdemeanor theft with a prior theft conviction, as mentioned above, to violent theft through force, referred to as robbery. These can be some of the most serious crimes charged and carry with them significant prison sentences. An aggressive attorney from Albukerk & Associates is extremely important to explore every facet of your case to ensure that the law treats you fairly.
First, is there video? Is the video working? The fact that it usually isn’t is a strike against the prosecution. It is the prosecution’s job to produce the evidence to prove you guilty; if they should have evidence that they do not, the client may be in a position to win.
Is there a reliable eyewitness? Was it dark? Was there a crowd? Albukerk & Associates investigators and attorneys go to the complaining witness, the other witnesses at the scene to find out what the witnesses saw, and more importantly, what they could have seen given the time of day and the position of the witnesses.
Could the complaining witness be lying to the police to cover up for his own illegality? Was the complaining witness trying to solicit for sex or looking for drugs? These are just a few of the ways Albukerk & Associates have won these types of cases.
CHICAGO HOMICIDE LAWYER
Murder carries a minimum sentence of twenty years of straight time; with no reductions or time off for good behavior. Illinois is a death penalty state. It goes without saying that this crime is the most serious offense a person can be charged with. The cases typically take four years to get to trial and are difficult and expensive undertakings.
Albukerk & Associates has successfully defended many first degree murder charges. As much as the stakes are very high for the client they are perceived to be equally high for the police. They use all of their resources and coercive abilities to obtain witnesses and confessions. Tragically, the type of pressure exerted by police on clients has lead to false confessions, and Illinois has consequently become one of the leading states to falsely convict people of serious crimes. Albukerk & Associates has handled and successfully resolved several murder cases that involved full videotaped confessions.
One example is our client Mr. Balderrama:
Mr. Balderrama was charged with killing a child. Within a few days of the child’s death, Mr. Balderrama gave a full videotaped confession, even acting out the way that he punched the child. Yet, he insisted he was innocent.
By doing an exhaustive forensic review Nick Albukerk was able to show that the listed cause of death did not comport with the police version of events or the confession. Nick Albukerk’s client was charged with killing a child by punching him in the abdomen causing internal bleeding. Internal bleeding in turn causes an infection in the stomach cavity known as peritonitis. By researching peritonitis, and speaking to his own father, a medical examiner, and later the medical examiner that performed the autopsy in the case, Nick Albukerk was able to show that peritonitis should have killed the deceased no earlier than 20 hours after the alleged beating. However, the confession had a timeline of only eight hours from the time of beating to the time of death. Further, there was a report by a radiologist, a doctor who looks at x-rays and can determine if, and how, bones are broken. At face value the report seemed to just detail the broken bones of the deceased further proving Mr. Balderrama to be that much more brutal. However, an interview with the radiologist brought to light a stunning finding. The bone injuries, according to the doctor, were consistent with a violent shaking, not a punching injury. A violent shaking also explained the bruising pattern on the body. In this case Albukerk & Associates utilized mock juries, false confession experts, three pathologists/medical examiners, two psychologists, hundreds of pages of letters from the child’s mother, several reports regarding other injuries the child suffered at the hands of the mother and, finally, the different stories the mother told about those injuries. As a result, Mr. Balderrama went from facing the death penalty to being a free man due to the efforts of Albukerk & Associates.
Albukerk & Associates has the experience and relentless drive to make sure that if there is a way to win your case, it will be won.
CHICAGO JUVENILE LAWYER
While the crimes charged in Juvenile Court are the same crimes that are charged in adult court, that is where the similarities end. Juvenile Court is a completely different venue than adult court and it is extremely important that you have an attorney representing you or your child who is familiar with juvenile criminal defense and its intricacies.
Albukerk & Associates has handled dozens of juvenile cases. In juvenile court there is no right to a jury (12 peers who decide your case instead of a judge) except in certain murder charges. The focus in juvenile court is supposed to be on rehabilitating the minor, not punishing the child. However, the juvenile detention facility in Chicago, the Audy Home, officially named the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center has been cited for constant problems; it is not a place a parent wants their child to be. Accordingly, a skilled attorney like Nick Albukerk is able to analyze a minor’s case and plan a course of action that will have the least detrimental impact on the juvenile; from a “not delinquent finding” (the equivalent of a not guilty) to probation, or periodic imprisonment, Albukerk & Associates has the experience and knowledge to keep your child from becoming a victim of the system.
Recently Mr. Albukerk joined with other activists who led a movement that changed the age at which 15 year old children are automatically charged as adults. Because he was able to help effectuate this change in the law Mr. Albukerk’s 15 year old client went from being held in custody on an impossibly high bond in front of an adult court judge and a minimum adult sentence of 20 years to freedom.
In Chicago and the rest of Illinois most sex crimes are Class X offenses meaning that the minimum sentence is six years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. But a felony conviction for a sex crime can follow you much longer. A person must register for at least ten years and usually longer as a registered sex offender if convicted of any felony sex offense. What that practically means is that, for the rest of his life, the convicted defendant’s name will be found on web sites that track his address and other vital information. He is forever marked as a pariah. Few employers will want to have any association with the convicted. Relationships of any sort will be strained and are often broken because of this.
Albukerk & Associates’ inventive, intensive approach has earned results others thought impossible. DNA analysis, if a possible avenue to innocence, will be demanded. If the State claims the DNA as their proof of guilt, the DNA will be challenged with our own labs and statistical experts. Albukerk & Associates has appealed thirty-year-old cases to push the courts into allowing testing of DNA evidence.
State v. Torres
In one case, a married father with three children was accused of molesting a cousin’s six-year-old daughter. The mother of the child claimed that the child made the complaint of sexual molestation to her. There was no physical evidence. The child had a speech impediment; which the mother claimed only she could understand. With the help of an intelligent and bi-lingual assistant Nick Albukerk was able to interview and record both the mother and six year old child to show that the child was incapable of any form of speech and therefore was incapable of making the accusation. The accusation was created by the mother, not the six year old girl. When the court heard this evidence and combined it with the mother’s admission that the Defendant had recently made the mother of the child leave the basement apartment that he owned and allowed her to rent, the court was convinced that no sexual assault had taken place.
These results are not possible without going to the witnesses and asking hard questions, checking physical evidence and the bias of witnesses. Call Albukerk & Associates today to ensure that you get the facts necessary to win your case.
SEXUALLY VIOLENT PERSON DEFENSE
Several years ago Nick Albukerk became the first person in Chicago history to win a sexually violent person case. These are cases where men have been convicted of multiple sex offenses and after serving their criminal sentences are locked up for what is usually the rest of their lives in a civil detention center because they allegedly suffer from an uncontrollable mental disorder. Mr. Albukerk’s client had been convicted of 5 rapes and was suspected of at least 9 others. These cases are considered nearly impossible to win nationally. Mr. Albukerk was appointed to the case a case in 2002. He went to the appellate court 5 times, filed a class action against the State’s psychologists for making up a non-existent diagnosis, filed a medical malpractice action against the State’s psychologists for the same offense, demanded that DNA evidence be tested, and revealed that one of the State’s expert psychologists lied about his credentials. It took 11 ½ years to break the mold and win the case. We can win your case.
WHITE COLLAR CRIMINAL DEFENSE
Albukerk & Associates has successfully defended white collar cases by uncovering the details that the State overlooked, i.e. finding the witnesses the State didn’t bother to interview; making sure we have the experts to explain the scope of the financial crime and what really happened. Financial crimes must be done in conjunction with forensic accountants, billing experts and other experts who can explain the inner workings of complex financial transactions to jurors. Albukerk & Associates has dealt with cases of corporate espionage, theft of trade secrets and embezzlement.
Albukerk & Associates is the only firm to win a State Medicaid Fraud criminal case in the State of Illinois. An example:
State v. Shelton
The Defendant was accused of being part of a scheme of substitute and ghost billing for thousands of patients that were never seen by any doctor. Dr. Shelton was accused of helping others steal approximately $650,000. She was innocent. Albukerk & Associates spent hundreds of hours working on the case, finding witnesses and finding the forms that were used to bill for thousands of patients. We were able to show that most of the billing documents did not have Dr. Shelton’s signature on them. We were able to show that the person responsible for billing did not know how to correctly, or ethically, bill. We were able to show that the State’s investigation was full of assumptions that did not hold water. We worked with experts in signature verification, two experts in medical billing, and several experts in Medicaid billing. Dr. Shelton hired and fired five attorneys before coming to us. Your reputation and livelihood can only be saved with a tremendous amount of work; we produced the results she desired: Not Guilty.
Call Albukerk & Associates today for your best chance to win.
ILLEGAL DRUGS – CRIMINAL DEFENSE
Drug related offenses are the most common criminal charge in Chicago. Over 80%of all criminal cases at 26th and California are drug charges. Albukerk & Associates has handled hundreds of drug cases from misdemeanor marijuana to major federal drug trafficking offenses. There are two basic ways to legally fight a drug charge:
1. Going to trial and claiming innocence, or;br> 2. Arguing that the evidence of illegal drugs should be “suppressed”, or thrown out, because the police violated the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights because the officers had no probable cause to stop and search the defendant. Nick Albukerk has taught the subject of search and seizure law to other attorneys:
In practice however, asking that drugs, or a gun, be suppressed or thrown out becomes a credibility contest. The police know what lies they must tell to get around the Fourth Amendment. It’s the small details that trip up officers. Hiring attorneys like Albukerk & Associates as quickly as possible after an arrest is crucial. In the first 24 to 72 hours most surveillance video is erased. Within thirty days of the alleged crime other crucial information in the case is erased. If an attorney does not move to preserve evidence at the scene and in the possession of the police department immediately, that attorney is giving up an opportunity to win that defendant’s case.
Regardless of which route presents the strongest path to a not guilty finding, a vigorous investigation is mandatory for success. Could the officer have seen what he claims to have seen from the angle and position he says he was in within his police report? What was the lighting at the scene of the alleged crime? At what time did the officer claim to have seen the probable cause that led to the arrest? Did the officer knock and announce their office? Did the officer have a valid warrant? Did the officer have valid information to support a search warrant? Did the State recover finger prints from the plastic bag the officers claim the defendant stored the illegal drugs in?
Albukerk & Associates are the aggressive attorneys that will do everything in their power to ensure that these questions and any others that are crucial to the case are answered. Call Albukerk & Associates today for your best chance to win.
Over the last twenty years domestic violence law has become a specialty unto itself. While still generally charged as a misdemeanor, the law has been amended to include felony charges such as stalking. In almost every domestic violence case an order of protection is issued that can be used to instantly deprive a person of his children, home, clothes and car. In the State of Illinois the legislature has seen fit to increase the minimum sentence for domestic battery. Any plea or conviction to a charge of domestic battery results in a minimum sentence of conditional discharge - a permanent notation on one’s criminal record. A conviction for domestic battery can not be erased or expunged from one’s criminal record. A conviction for domestic violence is one of the few misdemeanors that federal immigration authorities characterize as an “aggravated offense” and therefore immediately deportable. A conviction for domestic violence is one that employers take seriously and may use as grounds to deny employment. Albukerk & Associates has tried nearly 100 domestic violence cases and handled hundereds of others to successful resolutions. Albukerk and Associates has appealed domestic violence courts who unilaterally and arbitrarily have allowed complaining witnesses take custody of children when the defendant was the primary caretaker. Nick Albukerk has gathered the 911 recordings that proved there was no fear on the part of the “victim”. Nick Albukerk has gathered the old police reports that proved the “victim” had a history of being the aggressor. Nick Albukerk has gone to the jail and taken the pictures that proved that his client, the Defendant, was actually the victim. The police always suspect men are at fault when often there is a fight among equally participating adults. Police regulations and General Orders now demand that someone be arrested whenever there is evidence of a domestic violence incident. Our society’s assumptions about who is stronger leads police for one to believe that the aggressor is the male. A domestic battery charge can mean your job, your house; your children can be taken from you. Albukerk and Associates is the experienced advocate you need next to you who knows how to protect your rights.
Albukerk and Associates has defended all manner of violent crimes. Self-defense, mis-identification and consent are just a few of the defenses Albukerk and Associates has used to show juries and judges the innocence of our clients. Was alcohol involved? Was it dark? Did the complaining witness have a motive to blame the defendant? Only investigation will reveal that answer. Is there DNA? Albukerk and Associates will have a forensic team at the scene within hours of calling us to gather the evidence the police and State’s Attorneys have overlooked. Is there surveillance video from a nearby store or street camera? Subpoenas must be issued immediately to preserve this evidence of your innocence. Is there a psychological infirmity suffered by either the defendant or the complaining witness? A defense based on temporary insanity or any form of insanity is difficult but can be done. Gathering a defendant’s history and affidavits from family and friends, selecting the right psychologist who will be able to illuminate the disease while still explaining the humanity of the person who committed the violent act is crucial.
What is the background of the complaining witness? How bad is his or her criminal background? What do the previous police reports of the complaining witness tell us about that person? Is there a history of mental illness in the complaining witness? Albukerk and Associates has taken dozens of statements from witnesses including complaining witnesses. Without State’s Attorneys present what will the complaining witness admit really happened? Will the complaining witness want to prove to anyone he or she talks to that he was not bested in a fight or other altercation? The intensive approach of Albukerk and Associates answers these and other questions. Trust Albukerk and Associates to do for you what they have done for so many others; use our fact intensive approach to cast doubt on the State’s case. We have the experience, the toughness, and intelligence to get the best possible outcome for you.
The old Rolling Stones song “Under My Thumb” comes to mind when describing probation violations. You have few rights; no right to a jury, and almost no right to ask for a new judge. The judge can and will do whatever he wants if the Probation Department or State’s Attorneys Office file a violation of probation because of either a new offense, or a failure to comply with the terms of probation. Mitigate, mitigate, mitigate is the name of the game. Albukerk and Associates will guide you and your family in digging up every photo, affidavit and witness to show that you deserve that extra chance. Proving you were in your bed asleep after curfew is difficult if not impossible. Proving you are the caregiver to children, volunteer at a church or go to school is a possibility that may change the judge’s mind. Knowing what judges are likely to do in these situations and making the defendant look as good as possible is often the only real chance a client has at remaining on probation and out of prison.
Experience matters; Albukerk & Associates have over 18 years of experience putting his clients in the best light in courts in Cook County. With our experience chances are excellent that we will know your individual judges proclivities. Is your judge one who believes in drug treatment? Some judges only believe in inpatient treatment. Can you or your loved one get into the Haymarket Drug treatment program before the judge finds him or her guilty of a violation? Can you afford the Betty Ford clinic? Does your judge believe in TASC, some judges are dismissive of this program – Albukerk and Associates knows which judges like which drug treatment programs. Taking responsibility for the problem before the judge needs to intervene with a violation and a prison sentence makes all the difference in the world. Albukerk and Associates will find that proactive move that will convince your judge that you are the responsible party willing to fix the problem. Is your judge impressed with steady employment? Letters from employers are usually easy and easily overlooked as a way to get a leg up. Is your judge impressed with a sound voting record? (yes, a soon to retire judge rightfully found that African Americans were forfeiting their birth right and political power if they did not vote and carry his or her voter ID card on them. He regularly checked to see if persons in his court room had their voter ID cards) Rely on Albukerk and Associates to know these and other quirks that may be the key to your freedom.
Call Albukerk & Associates today for a free consultation to see how we may be able to forestall a term of incarceration for you.
Expungements or Sealing of one’s criminal record
Having a clean record is vital to obtaining a good job. In Illinois only arrests that do not result in conviction or supervision (a suspended sentence), are eligible for expungement. Certain non-violent offenses can be sealed, which is almost the same thing as expungement in practical effect. Albukerk & Associates have done dozens of expungements. We are experienced in gathering the records and arguing the motions needed to convince a judge that the client is a good candidate for expungement. An expungement is not automatic; the Court has discretion to issue the order expunging your record. If you have a number of arrests for domestic violence, for example, this is going to have to be explained. Affidavits and other evidence might have to be presented. Albukerk & Associates has the staff, recourses and experience to put your case together.
Call Immediately for a Consultation.
Call us today to speak with an attorney about your case. You can reach us by telephone at (773) 847 - 2600 and you will be speaking with a real attorney in moments.
Chicago Criminal Law Attorney
Since the acceptance of DNA evidence in Court Rooms in 1987 hundreds of convicted people have been proven to be innocent. Many of these people gave full or partial confessions to their crimes. Since the advent of DNA the State’s Attorneys of Cook and DuPage Counties have done everything in their power to keep convicted persons from testing DNA in their cases. The State is not to be trusted. Those in charge of the State apparatus have a vested interest in making the general population believe that criminals are being put away and that the system makes no mistakes. Discovering that a person is innocent after they have been convicted could result in politicians, state’s attorneys and police officers who were responsible for these false convictions not only losing their jobs, but as happened in DuPage County, being prosecuted for presenting false evidence.
Judges have hundreds of cases on their calls and are criticized if too many people are found not guilty or there are too many cases on their docket. Letting defense attorneys employ experts, investigators, psychiatrists, psychologists and other experts slows down the machine and means more work for the Judge and his staff. One of the greatest criticisms of the Public Defender system employed in Cook and DuPage Counties is that individual assistant public defenders are assigned to Judges. That means that a Public Defender is strongly influenced to not slow down the wheels of justice. A public defender can not be expected to hire experts in false confessions, independent psychologists and independent medical examiners. A shocking truth considering that several State forensic experts have been caught lying and giving false testimony for the police and State’s Attorneys Office (Pamela Fish being an example in Cook County: http://truthinjustice.org/labs-falter.htm).
Do not let you or your loved one’s life and future depend on an attorney who will accept the State’s experts and police officers findings over experts of your choosing.
Albukerk and Associates is not beholden to any judge. Albukerk and Associates is under no duty to “keep the cases moving”. Call Albukerk and Associates today and find out how we will provide you with your best chance to win your case. We will hire and work with the experts in forensics, cell phone technology, ballistics and chemical analysis that will show if and how the police have lied to make their case against you or your loved one.
The only person standing between you and the political reality of a criminal court system that is heavily weighted toward the State is your attorney. Albukerk and Associates has over 20 years of experience fighting for criminal defendant’s innocence and fair sentences for the guilty. Albukerk and Associates has fought the hard battles and won. Albukerk and Associates has filed the appeals seeking the testing of DNA on behalf of those already convicted. Albukerk and Associates has demanded jury trials and won. Albukerk and Associates has worked with experts in psychiatry, psychology, pathology, forensic pathology, physiatrist, orthopedics, ballistics, pharmacology, urology, gynecology, radiology, hand writing, accounting, Medicaid billing, cell phone technology and false confessions. Albukerk and Associates has handled thousands of cases of every variety: DUIs, Drug possession, Drug Dealing, Drug Delivery, Drug Transporting, Narcotics, Kidnapping, Murder, Sex Crimes, White Collar Crime, Fraud, and Eavesdropping to give a partial list.
We have achieved exceptional results for our clients with this intensive approach. Head wounds characterized as a gunshot wound inflicted by our client were shown, with an independent medical examiner, to more probably be a door hook that the complaining witness in her drunken stupor fell upon. Officers who claim they saw a gun in the pocket of our client while he drove his Cadillac were shown to be liars with the aid of our investigator whose pictures documented the fact that the large arm rest blocked the view of the our client’s pocket. A client’s staggering walk, slurred speech and breath alcohol test over the legal limit were, with the help of our expert pharmacologist, shown to be an adverse reaction to medicines and an unreliable breath sample because of severely altered metabolism from those same medicines. Albukerk and Associates has the experience needed to give you your best chance to win.
Call Albukerk and Associates today, the sooner you entrust us to resolve your case the sooner your will be assured that you have taken the best possible chance you have of winning.
Albukerk & Associates is the aggressive firm that will protect you from the State’s assumption that you are guilty. Call today for a free consultation.
Chicago DUI Lawyer
Being arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) can be one of the most sobering events in your life. However, the terrible experience does not have to last any further than the short time that you or a loved one may have spent in jail. Albukerk & Associates can provide you with representation that will assure that your rights are protected, you are back on the road legally as soon as possible and are in the best position to win your case.
DUI arrests are common. What is not common is the representation that Albukerk & Associates provides a client charged with DUI. Albukerk & Associates will give your DUI charges the attention you deserve. Your case will be scrutinized by a highly skilled Chicago DUI lawyer to ensure that everything possible is done to protect you against these charges. When your case is complete you will have the luxury of knowing that every legal option was exhausted and every investigative angle was examined prior to the case closing.
WHAT TO DO IF STOPPED ON SUSPICION OF DUI?
There are some simple things to keep in mind if you are ever stopped on suspicion of DUI. While these suggestions are certainly not a guarantee or promise that if you follow them you will not be charged or convicted with a DUI, they are designed to help give you the best chance to beat a DUI.
Do not alarm the officer. Remain calm. Keep your hands on the top of the steering wheel where the officer can see your hands. Do not make any sudden movements. Wait until the officer asks for your license and registration before opening your glove compartment or fishing in a bag or pocket for your wallet.
Be polite: say “yes sir” and “no sir”. THIS IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT
Ask to speak to your attorney. This request will probably be ignored; if you can, call me!
It is your choice whether or not you answer any questions. An officer will most certainly question you about your drinking pattern, eating pattern, etc. The officer will make it seem that you have no choice but to answer his questions. Chances are, if you do answer the officer’s questions then you are likely handing evidence of your guilt to the officer, or, giving the officer fodder to twist your words and actions into evidence of guilt. You do not have to answer these questions.
You may simply say, as politely as possible, to all alcohol related questions or commands to perform tests: “Officer, am I free to go?”
It is your choice whether or not you perform any field sobriety tests. Most people feel that they have to perform these tests when asked. You have a right to deny these tests. If you do the tests, again, all you are doing is handing over evidence of your guilt or giving the officer material to twist into evidence that he will claim proves your guilt.
It is your choice whether you perform any breath tests. There are two types of breath tests: a small hand-held field test which is performed where the officer stopped you, and a more accurate breath test machine performed at the police station. Officers have been known to make it sound like you must participate in this test. If you take the test and there is no alcohol in your system you will not be suspended. If you take the test and have ANY alcohol in your system (not necessarily over the legal limit of .08) you may be arrested and your driving privilege will be suspended. If you do not take the breath test the suspension of your license will be longer, but you stand a better chance of winning your DUI case and fighting your suspension. Clients can fight their suspension in a separate hearing called a Petition to Rescind a Statutory Summary Suspension. In any event, if this is your first DUI you can still apply for a BAIID (Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device) to be installed on your car and the Court will then give you a permit to drive during your suspension.
Again, these suggestions are no guarantee that you will win your case, but they should improve your chances.