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The Chief Judge of the Southern District of Illinois has issued a dire warning about the consequences of the federal government's ongoing shutdown on the justice system.

There are many obvious pain points related to the shutdown — including the vast numbers of unpaid federal workers. However, many of the shutdown's less visible consequences to the criminal justice system are also serious.

One of those consequences is the inability to pay expert witnesses for their testimony. These witnesses are often used in drug cases to challenge the state's claims of a drug's purity. This can drastically affect a sentence if the defendant is convicted.


Firm partner selected for Rising Stars lists

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Attorney Alex Fawell is selected to the Illinois Rising Stars list for 2019. Alex is a managing partner at Fawell & Fawell who represents clients in family and criminal law matters.

Earning this honor only four years into his legal career is a significant achievement, and further signifies the high level of excellence Alex brings to his clients every day.

Overview of the nomination process


As another holiday season moves past, thousands of Americans will be anxiously awaiting the results of the genealogy tests they received as presents.

Law enforcement officers may also be waiting on the newest addition to what has become an increasingly useful tool when it comes to closing cold cases: DNA databanks.

As recently as November 2017, the 2001 murder of a 25-year-old woman was solved thanks to DNA that was left behind at a crime scene and modern-day genetic testing that identified the killer. It was the 24th time since April that suspects in crimes have been identified the same way. At least two of the cases that have been solved had plagued investigators for 30 or more years.


When facing a serious criminal situation, many Illinois residents may not fully understand their legal options. While you likely know that you have the ability to create and present a criminal defense against any charges you face, you may not know about certain deals or agreements that could potentially result in your facing lesser consequences for the alleged crime.

Plea bargains or plea deals are not an uncommon tool in criminal justice cases. Often, these deals result in individuals receiving lesser consequences or the dismissal of certain charges for pleading guilty to other allegations. However, you may not have heard of cooperation agreements or non-prosecution agreements.

Cooperation agreement


Are you thinking about borrowing a gun "just in case" something happens?

The world can be a scary place. Sometimes, it just feels better knowing that you have a gun around for protection. If you're going to be alone in a new apartment, going through trouble with a volatile ex, have to walk home late at night after work or have recently been threatened by someone, it's only natural to be concerned for your own safety.

However, borrowing a gun for self defense could open the door to a lot of trouble. You may have a weapon to defend yourself, but using it could land you in jail.

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