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Recent Blog Posts

Violating Railroad Crossing Laws Now Has Higher Stakes

 Posted on March 09,2017 in Traffic Violations

Ilinois traffic violation lawyer, Ilinois defense attorneyIt is no secret that trains have the ability to create a massive amount of damage if any part of their operation goes awry. The fact that a driver is 20 times more likely to die in a crash involving a train rather than another motor vehicle makes awareness of the safety regulations and laws regarding railroad crossing imperative for safety. Illinois is the epicenter of the comprehensive rail system throughout the United States, with 41 companies currently operating in the state. The number of injuries involving railroads and traffic violations increased in 2015 prompting a crackdown on the laws surrounding railroad crossings.

Statistics Leading to the Increase

The number of railroad crossings in Illinois is staggering. When attempting to do a search of all of the intersections - public, private, and pedestrian - in Cook County alone, we returned with a number greater than 2,500. Statistics of incidents at railroad crossing such as these are as follows:

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Winter Driving Tips for CDL Drivers to Avoid Tickets and Accidents

 Posted on February 28,2017 in Traffic Violations

Illinois CDL violations, Illinois traffic violations lawyerCommercial truck driving is a profession that entails the handling of great responsibility and also preparing for the safety of everyone on the roadways. Even small errors in judgment can lead to traffic violations, the loss of a commercial driver’s license, serious injuries, or even death. With the addition of poor road and weather conditions, the job becomes increasingly more perilous. Something as simple as breaking too hard can lead to a multiple-vehicle collision when ice is thrown into the mix. It is important to review safety tips for driving in hazardous winter weather conditions to protect the security of drivers as well as maintenance of a CDL.

Frequent Causes of Winter Related Accidents

There are several causations that--if not taken into consideration and properly prepared for--increase the likelihood of a violation or an accident. These elements include:

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Return Your Rentals to Avoid Felony Theft Charges

 Posted on February 21,2017 in Criminal Defense

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyerInstead of purchasing items such as tools, machinery, or even linens and tables for a one-time use, many Americans choose to utilize rental options. Through the usage of a rental company, items are available for a fraction of the cost of buying the product brand new or used. As of January 1, 2017, a new law enforcing the return of equipment rentals became active. If you choose to retain the rented equipment past the due date, you may now face criminal felony theft charges.

Introduction of Illinois Senate Bill 1120

With a significant portion of the population on a strict budget, frivolously spending money to purchase items for a short project is avoided at all costs. Businesses began to rent out services and equipment at a relatively small price to alleviate the predicament in the community. Patrons decide their due date for the return of the rented product based on the estimated length of time for project completion. Many times, the actual completion date is well after the initial estimation, leaving the rental establishment without the use of their equipment for an unknown amount of time. With this new bill, if a person knowingly obtains the temporary use of labor, services, or equipment only available for hire with the intention of keeping it past the due date, criminal charges may ensue.

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Battery of an Unborn Child in Illinois

 Posted on February 14,2017 in Criminal Defense

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyerBattery cases, in any circumstances, are judged harshly. Many of us learn as children to keep our hands to ourselves and treat others the way we would also like treated. In regards to the battery of a pregnant woman and that of an unborn child, not only is there the social stigma that coincides, but there is also double the punishment for these felony crimes. Understanding how they are different may help determine the best course of action in your case.

Illinois Assault vs. Battery

The laws surrounding assault and battery vary from state-to-state. In Illinois, assault is any behavior that causes a reasonable fear of immediate danger to themselves, someone they love, or their property. Therefore, in Illinois, no physical contact needs making to qualify for an assault charge. Battery cases involve physical contact. Legally, battery occurs when an individual knowingly and unjustifiably:

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The Fourth Amendment and DUI Stops

 Posted on February 07,2017 in DUI

Illinois DUI attorney, Illinois defense lawyerConsider any traffic stop in which you were a party. Even in a simple stop for something such as a broken tail light, this formality is a form of a seizure, which is protected by our Fourth Amendment rights. When a stop is performed without just and reasonable suspicion, any following charges should be deemed unconstitutional and be dismissed, even in cases involving DUI. However, these sort of outcomes depends on favorable circumstances coupled with a knowledgeable attorney who has the ability to use them to your advantage.

The Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment protects citizens against unlawful searches and seizures, including arrests, and demands a court-issued warrant even in cases with probable cause. However, a loophole exists in which if the officer believes the driver or general public are in danger, a warrantless stop is permissible. Reasonably suspicious activities are not clear-cut or defined for cops, offering ambiguity that allows an officer to use their judgment given the present circumstances. If the stop is improper, the stop itself and any resulting evidence are challengeable. Possible defense include:

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Violations of Illinois Weapons Law

 Posted on January 31,2017 in Criminal Defense

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal statutesAn unlawful use of a weapon conviction potentially wreaks havoc on the future of an individual. Many wrongfully believe that the improper use and ownership of a firearm is the only misbehavior resulting in weapons charges. There is an extensive list of prohibited weapons unrelated to firearms that earn the same charges. Penalties are harsh if convicted of either a UUW or an aggravated UUW. Having aggressive and efficient legal counsel is often the best course of action for navigating this legal area.

Prohibited Weapons List

With a firearm, there are prerequisites to fulfill before being able to legally own a gun. Alternatively, some weapons are prohibited regardless of your background or ability to possess a firearm. Unless you are on a short list of authorized individuals, the following weapons are banned from possession and ownership in the state of Illinois:

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Facing Retail Theft Charges in Illinois

 Posted on January 24,2017 in Criminal Defense

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawsRetail theft charges may seem minor in comparison to the grand scheme of things. However, they are not taken lightly in a court of law. The retail establishment may choose to detain a suspect without involving police enforcement. One benefit for the store to not include the cops at first is they retain the ability to question without a lawyer or guardian present. The detainee is not under arrest nor do they face charges until the police are involved. However, once the owner or manager contacts local authority, the suspect then faces retail theft charges, requiring proper criminal defense.

Civil Penalties

If a store does decide to press charges, they have the option to pursue civil damages. Many stores have established working relations with local attorneys to send out civil demand letters, often demanding the payment of a fine. However, lawyers and store owners do not have the authority to levy a fine; that is an ability retained by the courts. If the issue goes to trial, merchants can recover damages for all of the following:

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You Have the Right to an Attorney

 Posted on January 17,2017 in Criminal Defense

b2ap3_thumbnail_sixth-amendment.jpgUnderstanding your rights is essential to fighting any criminal accusations. The Bill of Rights are the first ten Amendments to the Constitution created. These rights provide constitutional protection to United States citizens, listing specific prohibitions of governmental power. Along with the right to a reasonable search and freedom of religion, you also have the right to an attorney. Let us look at this amendment in further detail.

The Sixth Amendment

Many people are only familiar with a line or two of what rights this impressive document grants as a whole. Going through each line one-by-one is beyond the scope of this article, so the focus here will remain on the Sixth Amendment. There is a significant amount more to the Sixth Amendment than just the right to legal representation. In its entirety, the amendment says:

"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”

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Sexually Based Crimes and the Illinois Sex Offender Registry

 Posted on January 10,2017 in Criminal Defense

Illinois sex crimes lawyer, Illinois defense attorneyAfter a conviction, any crime has the potential to be life-altering. Although, most crimes do not carry the additional stigma and other consequences as a conviction for sex crimes. Unfortunately, many sexually based crimes are based on false accusations, landing many innocent individuals on the sex offender registry for an extended period. It is imperative to protect yourself using proper legal representation to better your chances of avoiding the worst case scenario.

Is Registration Required?

Any crime involving sexual assault or that is sexually motivated faces judgment as a sex crime. Upon a charge of any of the vast number of sexual offenses, including rape or public indecency, an unfavorable result would require the necessity of publically registering as a sex offender. The case outcomes requiring automatic registration include:

  • A conviction of actually committing the offense,

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Distinguishing Classifications Of Charges

 Posted on December 27,2016 in Criminal Defense

Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorneyWhen introduced to the legal system, the jargon is confusing. With words like arrest and charge used incorrectly on a daily basis, it becomes difficult to understand how much trouble you are facing. Other often misunderstood terminology includes felony and misdemeanor classifications. It is important to discern their differences and their potential penalties to build an appropriate defense case.

The Charges

Every state in the United States has a unique legal system. With it, they also have individualized penalties for crimes based on the severity of each. Two classifications in Illinois are:

  • Misdemeanor: Although more severe than an infraction, misdemeanors are crimes punishable by time in county jail, rather than extended periods in a high-security prison.
  • Felony: Felonies have minimum imprisonment sentences. Any conviction has minimum consequences of one year of incarceration, with more severe crimes having harsher punishments.

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