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Criminal Law: No Probable Cause, Preliminary Hearing; Cocaine

In Criminal Law case the People v. C.M. on February 25, 2013 there was a finding of no probable cause at the preliminary hearing for felony charges of possession of cocaine. The charges carried a term in the State penitentiary for a period of one to three years. After the finding by the judge that there was not enough evidence against our client the charges were dismissed. During the hearing at the 111th and Ellis branch court in Chicago a police officer testified that a vehicle was curbed for a traffic violation when the officer searched the driver of the vehicle he discovered a significant amount of cocaine. After the cocaine was recovered the officer testified that there was an alleged confession by our client that he had just sold the cocaine to the driver.

After the officer testified Criminal Law Attorney Stefan Fenner was able, through cross examination, to establish that there was not enough connection between the recovered drugs and our client when there were other occupants to the vehicle who had better access to the cocaine. Fenner was also able to establish that this alleged statement by the defendant was the only evidence they had connecting him to the cocaine and that statement was not recorded, written, or signed by our client.Mr. Fenner argued that when the only evidence to be used to convict a defendant is an alleged statement, that his statement could not be the corpus delicti of his guilt. Corpus delicti is a term from Western jurisprudence referring to the principle that a crime must have been proven to have occurred before a person can be convicted of committing that crime. 

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