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Recent Blog Posts

What Is Reckless Driving?

 Posted on July 20,2016 in Traffic Violations

b2ap3_thumbnail_reckless-driving.jpgYou may be familiar with the general term “reckless." Perhaps you have heard it, read it, or even used it as a part of your daily vocabulary. However, are you familiar with what the word means with regards to its application to a driving behavior? What does reckless driving mean in a court of law and what are the potential punishments if you are convicted?

Reckless Driving in Legal Terms

Reckless, careless, negligent, and thoughtless are all similar words to describe the same behavior. They are all adjectives to describe an action committed with blatant indifference toward the lives and property of themselves and those surrounding them. In fact, the Illinois General Assembly explicitly defines reckless driving in State Statute 625 ILCS 5/11-503, which states that a person has committed the act of reckless driving if they:

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Illinois Controlled Substance Act

 Posted on July 13,2016 in Criminal Defense

Illinois drug crimes attorney, Illiois defense lawyerIf you are unsure of the intricacies of the law, it becomes difficult to ensure that you are behaving lawfully in every aspect of your daily life. Drug laws are no exception to this. There are several elements of the Illinois Controlled Substance Act. You may have a general understanding of the law, but knowledge of what it fully entails may assist you in altering your behavior to prevent unwanted drug charges.

The Forming of the Act

On February 5, 2010, the Illinois Controlled Substance Act was put into effect. The creation of the act grants government and law enforcement officials the authority to prosecute various drug crimes. The reasoning behind creating laws was to combat the rising crime that perceived to be directly related to contraband in the community. A few of the substances that are considered controlled are:

  • Marijuana,

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What to Expect in a DUI Traffic Stop

 Posted on July 06,2016 in DUI

Illinois DUI laws, Illinois drunk driving attorneyNo one ever anticipates being the recipient of a DUI charge when they begin their drive. If we had that information, perhaps more individuals would choose one of the many alternate options to make it to their destination. However, once a driver has been pulled over safely, it is the duty of the officers to complete standard procedures. If the officer fails to complete the routine in a legal manner, anything that the driver is charged for, including driving under the influence of alcohol or marijuana, may be susceptible to being dismissed.

Chronological Order of a DUI Traffic Stop

Officers endure extensive training programs to be prepared to follow protocol instinctively during a traffic stop. If the officer strays from the guidelines set for them, they potentially may also be in violation of the law. The steps flow in such a way to protect the rights of citizens, and these rights are not to be infringed upon. These measures include:

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Illinois Speeding Laws

 Posted on June 29,2016 in Traffic Violations

Illinois traffic attorney, Illinois traffic lawsSpeeding happens. Occasionally it is intentional, for instance for an emergency or someone is simply late for work. Other times, an individual is lost in thought and is not paying attention to the odometer. No matter the reason, speeding can potentially put the lives of others at risk and Illinois law seeks to enforce harsh punishment to those who are found guilty of speeding traffic violations. When the odds are stacked against you, it is best to guard yourself with legal backup to protect your driving privileges.

The Laws

The law punishes speeding by minors and commercial truck drivers differently than the general driver. Therefore, for the scope of this article, we are focusing just on general speeding traffic laws. Illinois is one of the states that has an “absolute” traffic law. That means that if you even go over the posted speed limit by one mile per hour, then you are in violation of the law. According to state statutes, the basic speeding law states:

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New Card Holder Anti-Fraud Measures May Affect Reinstatement

 Posted on June 24,2016 in Driver's License Reinstatement

Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois driving statutesFor years, if you went to the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), you have been able to get everything accomplished and leave the facility with a freshly printed driver’s license or state ID. However, Secretary of State Jesse White just announced that as of July, this will no longer be the case. Due to a federal mandate, states must take precautions to protect against identification fraud. These changes will also affect license reinstatement process because to reinstate your license you need to reapply for the license.

Federal Mandate

The mandate that Illinois is following was passed by Congress in 2005 as a direct result of the 9/11 Commission’s push for higher standards to prevent duplication of identification cards. Therefore, the Department of Homeland Security enacted what is known as “Real ID Act." For states that do not meet these standards, if they were to visit a federal facility, their state issued ID would not be an acceptable form of admittance. This will also affect air travel and notices will start to become more and more prevalent in the coming years. For now, the services that remain unaffected are:

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Pleading Guilty to a DUI

 Posted on June 06,2016 in DUI

Illinois DUI attorney, Illinois defense lawyerIt may go entirely against your self-preservation instincts. It may go against everything your family and friends have advised you to do. Yet, there may be some added benefits, depending on your case, to plead guilty to your charge of driving under the influence (DUI). If you think you may want to explore this option, then it really should be done so under the supervision of a lawyer to ensure that it is the best option and that you are not making a serious error.

Benefits of Pleading Guilty

As aforementioned, we are in no way suggesting to go around admitting guilt haphazardly. To do so could be disastrous to any legal claim you may have. It is always the best route to not say anything without a lawyer present, because, as stated in our Miranda Rights, “Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law.” Yet, depending on the details of your situation, you may want to consider and weigh all of your options carefully. A few of the benefits of entering a guilty plea are:

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License Suspension after DUI

 Posted on June 02,2016 in DUI

Illinios DUI attorney, Illinois defense lawyerIf you are arrested or accused of driving under the influence or while intoxicated, you will automatically be faced with having your license suspended, known in the state as statutory summary suspension. In addition to your license being suspended, you will also be facing possible fines or jail time. Statutory summary suspension makes it all the more crucial that if you are arrested on such charges that you being dialogue with a qualified legal professional right away. 

For many people, having a suspended license means no way to get to work, to pick up children, or to carry on with necessary daily routines. Your attorney can work with you to file a petition before a judge in order to negate the suspension following a DUI arrest, but there is only a 90-day window to do so. That is, you only have three months from the day of the alleged incident to submit the petition in writing and file it with the Clerk of the Circuit Court. Failure to do so could mean that your license will be suspended throughout the duration of your case — resulting in losses greater than they otherwise could be.

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Common Traffic Violations and When to Fight Them

 Posted on May 26,2016 in Traffic Violations

Illinois traffic violations, Illinois defense attorneyThere are several reasons that a person may be pulled over for a traffic violation, but not all traffic violations are created equal and statistics show that not all drivers experience traffic violations equally across the board. Between 2008 and 2010, the ratio of traffic stops to citations stayed relatively constant, though the number of traffic stops has continued to decline slightly each of those three years: The number of traffic citations declined in type.

Despite the highly publicized cases of African-Americans being pulled over for traffic violations without due cause, in Illinois in 2010 the number of traffic violations for which a car was stopped was far higher among Caucasian drivers. The interesting statistic is that the ratio between stops and citations for Caucasians was much lower (meaning less citations were issued) than it was for other races. This means that if you pulled over for a traffic violation and are black or Latino, you are more likely to receive a traffic citation than if you are white. 

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AUUW and FOID Card Act: Penalties Dispute

 Posted on May 19,2016 in Criminal Defense

b2ap3_thumbnail_Illinios-gun-laws.jpgFor the safety of the people, Illinois has imposed very strict gun regulations as well as stiff penalties for those who are convicted of violating those laws. Some actions potentially result in multiple charges and therefore potentially multiple consequences if found guilty. Recently, the constitutionality of those penalties were called into question. In the case of People v. Williams 2015, the punishment of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and violation of the FOID Card Act were put under the microscope, and thus the regulations of weapons charges came into question.

The Case

The Argument: The penalties for the statues of Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon (AUUW) and violation of FOID Card Act  were vastly different for two statutes that regulated the same behavior, which in turn violates the “proportionate penalties clause” of the Illinois Constitution. This basically says that if two actions are identical, then the penalties should be proportionate. In this instance, AUUW carries a Class IV Felony punishment and FOID Card Act violations are considered to be a misdemeanor.  

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Warrantless Cell Phone Searches and Fourth Amendment

 Posted on May 12,2016 in Criminal Defense

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawerWarrantless cellphone searches occur more often than they should, which is not at all. Often it occurs when the police officer is using the device to “contact immediate family”, as in the case of The People v. Robert Butler, yet it happens in other instances as well. Most of the time, this does not present too much of a problem. The problem arises when the officer crosses a boundary and stumbles upon unrelated information and uses it against the very person they initially were assisting. This trespass on a citizen’s privacy is exactly what is protected by our Fourth Amendment rights. When a situation like this arises, it is very beneficial to have a firm understanding of your rights.

The Story

In the case of the People v. Robert Butler, an officer witnessed a shooting victim being “pushed” out of the passenger seat of a vehicle in the hospital parking lot. Upon coming to the victim’s aid, the officer attempted to “notify the family” by confiscating the victim’s cellular device. Instead of going into the ‘contacts’ portion, the officer “accidentally” went into the messaging option, where a text was sent just two hours before saying, “I needa pipe cuzz, asap”. In this statement, ‘pipe’ is slang for handgun, as the defendant testified in court. According to the testimony of the police officer, that is when he (the officer) stopped trying to find the ‘contacts’ list and began to obtain a warrant for further investigation. This was justified because when reviewing reports of gunfire, no shots were fired at the location that the defendant said he was shot at. There was, however, a report of a shooting at another location.

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