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Recent Blog Posts

Avoiding a DUI Charge

 Posted on May 19,2017 in DUI

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyerThe breathalyzer as we know it today was born in 1954 by a man named Robert Borkenstein and has undergone little alteration since it’s introduction. An estimated 86% of the adult population of the United States claims they have consumed alcoholic beverages at least one time in their life, many of which went on to drive home. Breathalyzers use technology to detect the amount of alcohol on the breath of these drivers, which results in DUI allegations. This form of sobriety test has many pitfalls, and for this reason, researchers, inventors, and scientists all over the world scramble to create the next alcohol detection device.

The Current Device

The current tool is a guideline and no means is it perfected to 100% accuracy. Everyday items such as mouthwash and cough syrup are known to register a false positive in some machines. By breathing into the device, the device is estimating the amount of alcohol on your breath.

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Photo Enforced Traffic Tickets in Illinois

 Posted on May 12,2017 in Traffic Violations

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyerCameras accompany many red lights all throughout Chicago and the surrounding area. These cameras are not there simply as a deterrent for breaking traffic laws, they take a picture of the license plate of the vehicle. If the motion-activated camera detects a vehicle operating illegally, it takes a quick snapshot. The photograph is reviewed, and a citation is sent to the registered owner of the vehicle. To avoid taking time out of a busy schedule to go to court, many individuals just pay the fine via mail and get on with their lives. However, as with any traffic violation, there may be a defensive strategy for you.

How the Camera Works

Each camera is equipped with a radar detector which senses oncoming vehicles. Once the attached light turns red, the camera takes a photo as well as a video of the back end of the car. A central agency is supposed to review the image for clarity and then pass it along to City’s Department of Revenue for processing. Throughout Chicago, there are cameras for:

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Facing False Accusations of Domestic Violence

 Posted on May 05,2017 in Criminal Defense

Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorneyWhat happens behind closed doors stays there, unless that behavior infringes upon the rights of another individual to be free from harm. Once accusations of domestic abuse between two people begin, these matters become the business of the state, local police officers, and your attorney. Unfortunately, many of these allegations stem from other agendas of the alleged victim. In many domestic abuse cases, the accusations are unfounded or a self-serving attempt to discredit a spouse in a child custody case. Each case varies from one to the next and utilizing the knowledge and experience of an attorney is advisable as one misstep in this delicate situation can drastically alter your future.

Possible Defenses

It is never advisable to go into a domestic violence case without having the proper legal backup. If you attempt and fail in court, not only is your reputation at stake, but there is the possibility of years of jail time and thousands of dollars in fines, up to $25,000.00 in some cases, not to mention the potential for losing any custodial rights to your children. However, there are a few common defenses that have proven successful in previous court cases given the right circumstances. These are:

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Retail Theft Conviction Alternatives in Illinois

 Posted on April 28,2017 in Criminal Defense

b2ap3_thumbnail_shoplifting_20170428-021830_1.jpgShoplifting is one of those crimes in which anyone may have a proclivity. From a juvenile doing it to impress their friends to a single parent trying to provide for their family or even an elderly adult who mistakenly forgot the item at the bottom of the cart, shoplifting charges are not bound by age, race, or gender. Mainstream media has somewhat glorified the act by making it the subject of many Hollywood movies and song played on the radio, perhaps leading to an increase in shoplifting cases. However, the state of Illinois still believes stealing is not a victimless crime and anyone convicted of such allegations face harsh penalties. Fortunately, other alternatives are possible to conviction, given agreeable circumstances and utilizing the assistance of a proven attorney.

Traditional Consequences

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CDL Complications: Getting a DUI While Off-Duty

 Posted on April 21,2017 in DUI

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois DUI lawyerNo person can work 24-hour days, seven days each week, every week of the year. CDL holders are no different. Although they work seemingly tirelessly to keep our nation’s economy running smoothly, delivering truckload after truckload of our daily necessities, truck drivers have home lives as well. Also, just like a large portion of the world population, occasionally on their time off, they would like to sit down to enjoy an alcoholic beverage. However, if a CDL holder is off-duty and gets pulled over in their personal vehicle, the results vary from other DUI charges.

Commercial Vehicle vs. Non-Commercial Vehicle

If a driver is not working, perhaps with a day or two off, truck drivers often drive their personal vehicle. Does it make a difference if you were caught driving while using your work vehicle versus using other transportation? The company whose vehicle is in operation during the finding of a DUI may have harsher punishments for the accused, however, to the state of Illinois, it makes no difference. A CDL is a type of licensure used for highly trained individuals, and to maintain the prestigious license, those holding them have a higher standard to uphold in all aspects of driving. Conviction of a "major" driving offense such as drunk driving potentially automatically disqualifies a CDL, which then, in turn, removes commercial driving privileges.

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The Truth about Statutory Summary Suspension

 Posted on April 14,2017 in DUI

Illinois DUI attorney, Illinois defense lawyerIllinois notoriously has some of the harshest DUI laws and penalties in the country. If convicted of driving under the influence, your license is automatically taken away through the use of statutory summary suspension. The suspension period varies dependent of how the initial stop progressed. If this is the first DUI on record, there may be programs to assist the outcome. Despite dismal odds, there are defensive options available, given the right circumstances.

What Is a Statutory Summary Suspension?

Unlike a revocation which denies driving privileges indefinitely, a suspension denies this allowance for a predetermined length of time. A statutory summary suspension specifically pertains to DUI. If a chemical test results in a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher of alcohol, other drugs, or intoxicating compounds, your driving privileges are suspended for six months to a year. After the allotted amount of time passes, your license is eligible for reinstatement after the payment of a $250.00 fee if this is the first offense. All reinstatement fees after the first offense are $500.00. If you opt to refuse the chemical testing, Illinois has an automatic suspension of 12 to 36 months.

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Recent Changes to Felony Punishments in Illinois

 Posted on April 07,2017 in Criminal Defense

Illinois felony lawyer, Illinois defense attorneyWhen a crime is severe enough to constitute a felony conviction, it means that the penalty is punishable by at least one year in prison. Alternatively, a misdemeanor is less than one year in prison. Felonies break down into several different classes, ranging from one to four, Class X, and first-degree murder depending on the severity of the accused crime. Previously, punishments came based solely on the crime at hand and did not take into consideration other factors, including a previously spotless record. The Unified Code of Corrections changed at the end of 2016 with the passing of SB 3164, effectively altering the prison terms of those convicted of Class 3 or 4 felony.

The Punishments

During the sentencing of a crime, the presiding judge takes into account all parts to a story. With each criminal classification, there are parameters set in place that limits the authority of the judge ensuring that no penalty is too lenient or too harsh. The parameters for Class 3 and 4 felonies are as follows:

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New Illinois Laws Regarding Expungement

 Posted on March 29,2017 in Criminal Defense

Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorneyA background check is a compilation of various records within the past of a single individual or an organization, including criminal, financial, and commercial records. Employers utilize government agencies and private companies to dig up as much information about a potential employee during a pre-employment process. Companies implementing the extra precautionary measures reduce the risk of hiring a potentially dangerous individual to work in schools, hospitals, courthouses, and financial institutions where safety and security are paramount. These records show not only convictions but also arrests that did not result in a conviction, severely hindering even an innocent individual from finding gainful employment. As of 2017, new measures are in place to assist those interested in the expungement of their record.

Explaining Expungement

Even if someone was arrested but was found innocent or otherwise not convicted of the accusations, the arrest remains on the record for all interested parties to find. Illinois law grants that those who find themselves in such a position may file a petition with the court to have their records expunged. Qualifying arrests, felonies, and convictions have the right to request that the court destroys the records or seal them, so they are unable to be seen. Examples of crimes that may qualify for expungement include:

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Illinois Privacy Laws: StingRay Devices Now Have Limitations

 Posted on March 22,2017 in Criminal Defense

Illinois criminal attorney, Illinois defense lawyerStingRay devices are used prevalently throughout the state of Illinois by local and state police departments. These powerful devices, also known as “cell site simulators” or “IMSI catchers” mimic a standard cell phone tower. They are useful in tracking devices by sending out signals to a cellular device requiring it to give up its current location. However, with this technology comes the rise of privacy concerns as the device also transmits data back about many bystanders. The problem motivated Illinois legislators to alter laws to protect the rights of Illinois citizens.

Why Are They Used?

The StingRay is only about the size of a suitcase but can intercept, collect, access, transfer, or forward the data received or stored by hundreds or thousands of cell phones within any given neighborhood. Although they are not used throughout the entire United States, the cities and states that have them have been able to assist those in need. For instance, in October the technology helped in locating a 6-year-old girl in Arizona. When the device is in active mode, a compatible device is forced to disconnect from the actual service tower cell site and connect with the simulator, forcing all devices in the area to identify their location with the use of radio waves.

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Understanding Your Rights When Presented with a Breathalyzer in Illinois

 Posted on March 16,2017 in DUI

Illinois DUI lawyer, Illinois defense attorneyReceiving a conviction of driving under the influence creates potentially irreparable impacts on an individual's driving record and reputation. From additional points on a driving record to your name visible on the local police blotter or news station, the side effects alone are a reason to avoid a DUI. In Illinois and around the country, police use portable breath tests, also known as breathalyzers, to create probable cause for the charge. Hundreds of unsuspecting motorists blindly agree to the procedure without question. However, when your future is in jeopardy, knowing your rights and when they are being infringed can prevent a problem before it begins.

Usage of Portable Breath Tests

Impaired drivers put themselves and others at risk for an accident. Understandably, police and lawmakers want to keep citizens safe, however, in many cases, their interests overshadow the rights of many of our clients. Many field officers inappropriately assess frightened drivers when no probable cause existed initially, giving them further reason to make an arrest if the result returns as positive. It is important to understand that the number on the breathalyzer does not mean a guaranteed conviction. PBTs do not measure alcohol directly. What they measure is methyl group compounds, which can indicate drinking alcohol in a rough estimation. However, a breathalyzer can register as alcohol with the presence of:

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