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identity theft, Skokie criminal defense lawyerAn Illinois man was recently given five years in prison for a series of identity theft schemes and failing to pay taxes. The convicted individual used other people’s credit card accounts without their consent or knowledge to purchase over $40,000 worth of goods at major retail stores. He was previously charged with related crimes in Wisconsin and Indiana. Some might call this man lucky. Identity theft schemes can result in up to ten years’ imprisonment and some large-scale operations have resulted in sentences as high as 30 years.

What Is Identity Theft?

Identity theft or identity fraud refers to crimes in which a person uses another individual’s personal information for their own financial gain. In many cases, this could mean using another person’s social security number, banking information, or credit card to make purchases. Individuals who commit these crimes may have watched a person enter a credit card or bank number over their shoulder, taken a picture of a credit card, or listened in on a phone conversation in which personal financial information was discussed. Another form of identity theft may occur when an individual responds to “spam” email which requests personal information such as passwords or banking account numbers. These emails may be disguised as official correspondence from a legitimate company or organization, but, in reality, are fraudulent.

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medical marijuana, Skokie criminal defense lawyerAccording to several reports, political heavyweights in Springfield have hammered out an agreement to extend the Illinois medical marijuana program and to add two new qualifying conditions. The changes must be approved by the full legislature, but many are hopeful that the pact represents a solid step in the right direction.

Off to a Slow Start

When the Illinois legislature passed a measure to create the state’s medical marijuana pilot program back in 2013, proponents of the bill were hopeful that the initiative would get underway quickly. The program was intended to help Illinois residents diagnosed with one of approximately three dozen qualifying conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, and many others. Despite being approved by then-Governor Pat Quinn to become effective on January 1, 2014, political infighting and bureaucratic delays continued to push back the program’s implementation. The first legal medical marijuana did not become available until November of 2015, more than 22 months later.

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Posted on in DUI

drunk driving, Lake County criminal defense attorneyIt is easy to blame things such as entertainment and the media for the way drunk driving is portrayed and at times glamorized in our society. There is no denying that underage drivers in particular often see buzzed driving, which is a form of driving under the influence, as an acceptable thing--something everyone does, therefore it must not be a serious crime.

It Could Happen to You

The real problem is rooted in our perception of the crime, however. It is not uncommon for offenders of all ages and walks of life to view arrests associated with drunk driving as something that happens to everyone else, but not to them. Only when they are pulled over and arrested for the crime themselves do they understand the severity of the offense.

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robbery, Lake County criminal defense lawyerFor many people, the temptation is simply too great. They go into a fast-food restaurant or other establishment with a self-service soda fountain, and order ice water with their meal. When they think no one is looking, they fill their water cup with soda or tea, effectively saving themselves the cost of a soft drink. While most realize that such actions are not exactly condoned, they would probably not expect to face serious criminal charges as a result. For one young man in Arkansas, that is almost exactly what happened.

How It Happened

According to news reports, a trio of young men ordered large cups of water from McDonald’s in Springdale, Arkansas, last month. The group then parked, entered the restaurant, dumped out the water, and filled the cups with soda from a self-serve station. The store manager confronted the group, and two of the individuals complied with his request to dispose of the stolen drinks. The third, however, fled the store and jumped into the car.

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record the police, Skokie criminal defense lawyerWith tensions increasing between law enforcement officers and some communities across the United States and in Illinois, the practice of recording police officers performing their duties has grown in popularity. At the same time, it is also increasingly drawing criticism from many police departments. The question is a legitimate one: Is it against the law to record the police?

Previous Eavesdropping Law

Under the old Illinois eavesdropping law, it was illegal to record a conversation, even a public conversation, without the consent of both parties. However, in 2014, both the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the Illinois Supreme Court found the law was unconstitutional because it was overbroad and infringed on protected free speech rights.

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