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Recent Blog Posts

Consequences of OWI Charges in Wisconsin

 Posted on May 09, 2023 in Criminal Defense

shutterstock_1249101349-min.jpgIf you live in Wisconsin, you are likely aware that the state has some of the strictest drunk driving laws in the country. A driver convicted of operating while intoxicated (OWI) faces serious consequences, including license suspension, high fines, and even possible jail time, depending on their past driving/criminal record and circumstances of the arrest. If you have been charged with drunk driving, make sure you have a skilled defense attorney protecting your rights.

What Is the Legal Limit in Wisconsin?

Under Wisconsin law, a driver is considered legally intoxicated if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. The state also has a zero-tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21. Any driver under 21 can be charged with OWI if they have a BAC of 0.02 percent or higher.

There are also different standards if you are a CDL holder. Wisconsin allows a 0.0 BAC percent for CDL holders. A conviction for a BAC of 0.04 percent can result in license suspension and more.

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Proposed Bill Would Limit Police Searches in Traffic Stops for Suspected Cannabis DUI

 Posted on April 11, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Cook County Defense AttorneyIllinois lawmakers are considering a new law that would change how law enforcement is allowed to handle traffic stops that involve the odor of marijuana. Although recreational marijuana was made legal in 2020, driving under the influence of the drug is still illegal and can result in criminal charges and license suspension.

Illinois Traffic Stops

There are a number of rights that protect people from overzealous law enforcement. When it comes to an officer pulling drivers over, the officer must have a legitimate reason for doing so. A driver can be stopped for breaking major infractions, such as speeding or reckless driving, but an officer can also stop a vehicle for what may appear to be minor infractions, such as having a broken brake or taillight. It is often stops for these minor infractions that result in DUI arrests.

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Illinois Bill Introduced to Stop Schools From Calling Police on Students for School Infractions

 Posted on March 10, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Cook County Defense Lawyer

In 2015, Illinois passed a law that prohibited schools from using fines as a form of discipline for students. Unfortunately, school officials have worked around that law by reporting students directly to law enforcement, who then write out tickets to the referred students for violations such as littering, fighting, littering, possession of vaping devices, using offensive words, theft, and other violations.

Last year an investigation into the practice by the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica revealed just how rampant the practice is. That investigation has led makes to consider a bill that would amend that 2015 law to make it illegal for school officials to continue this practice. If passed, the proposed law would forbid schools from involving police for issues that can be addressed using the institution’s or district’s disciplinary process.

The Investigation

The investigation conducted jointly by the two publications found that almost 12,000 students were ticketed by police for alleged violations committed at school from 2020 through 2022, despite the fact that for a good chunk of that time, students were being taught via distance learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some tickets were for as much as $750 for alleged behavior that should have been addressed by the principal or other school authorities.

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Can a Felony Conviction Prevent You From Obtaining a Passport?

 Posted on February 06, 2023 in Criminal Defense

cook county criminal defense lawyerBeing charged with any type of crime can have an impact on your life, but if you are convicted of a felony, the consequences can be far-reaching long after you have satisfied whatever penalty the court imposed. In addition to a prison sentence and/or probation, a felony conviction can affect your right to vote and even your right to travel. In some cases, you may not be able to obtain a passport if you have a felony conviction on your record.

What Crimes Disqualify You From Getting a Passport?

Felony criminal classification covers a wide array of crimes that often have a wide array of potential penalties upon conviction. Not all felony convictions will disqualify you from obtaining a passport. However, there are some that will make obtaining a passport very difficult, if not impossible. Both federal and state felony drug convictions that involve crossing international borders can disqualify you from getting a passport. Felony convictions of financial fraud or human trafficking will also disqualify you.

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Illinois Courts Delay Implementing Pretrial Fairness Act

 Posted on January 12, 2023 in Criminal defense lawyer

cook county criminal defense lawyerAmong the almost 200 new state laws that were scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2023, was the Illinois Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today (SAFE-T) Act. The SAFE-T Act provided significant overhauls in several areas of the state’s criminal justice laws. Some of these provisions went into effect in July 2022, but one area – pretrial detention – was not to go into effect until this month. However, a Kankakee County judge’s ruling on a lawsuit filed by state attorneys and sheriffs from 65 counties has put the new law on hold.

Pretrial Detention Under the SAFE-T Act

Under the new law, cash bail in Illinois is abolished. This provision of the SAFE-T Act – referred to as the Pretrial Fairness Act – the following changes are made to the Illinois cash bail system:

  • Eliminates money bond in Illinois

  • Only defendants accused of qualifying charges will be incarcerated while they await trial. A judge must declare the defendant either a specific threat to another party or they pose a high flight risk

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Fighting Against Domestic Violence Charges in Illinois

 Posted on December 01, 2022 in Domestic Battery

rolling meadows criminal defense lawyerThere is no denying that domestic violence is a serious problem in Illinois and across the country. Data shows that more than 40 percent of women and 25 percent of men in Illinois have experienced intimate partner abuse. However, domestic violence advocates believe those numbers are actually higher because many survivors do not report that abuse. However, not every allegation of domestic violence is founded in truth. 

Domestic violence is a crime and perpetrators who are found guilty face significant penalties. In Illinois, domestic violence is a Class A misdemeanor and a conviction can mean up to 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, and mandatory counseling.

However, just like all criminal charges, a person who is accused has the right to fight the accusations and even avoid a conviction if it can be proven they are not guilty. The following are some of the defense strategies that a skilled criminal defense attorney may use to obtain a not-guilty verdict, a reduction of charges, or a possible dismissal of charges.

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What You Need to Know About Domestic Violence Laws in Illinois

 Posted on November 21, 2022 in Domestic Battery

shutterstock_2069867093-min.jpgDomestic violence is a serious issue that affects millions of people every year. If you have been accused of domestic violence in the State of Illinois, it is important to understand your rights and seek legal counsel. An experienced domestic violence defense attorney can provide invaluable advice and guidance in navigating this difficult situation.

What Is Domestic Violence?

In Illinois, domestic violence is defined as any physical abuse, harassment, or interference with personal liberty between family members or individuals who have had an intimate relationship. Domestic violence is not just physical abuse; it can also include threats, isolation, economic control, and emotional manipulation.

Illinois Laws Regarding Domestic Violence

In most cases, someone arrested for domestic violence will be charged with domestic battery. This charge involves violence or threats of violence against a domestic partner or family member. Specifically, domestic battery is defined by Illinois law as the intentional or knowing causing of bodily harm or physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature. Depending on the severity of the offense and whether any weapons were involved, domestic battery can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.

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Lake County Speeding Ticket

 Posted on May 19, 2022 in Lake County

Aggravated Speeding Charges in Lake County Illinois—What should you do?

 

So, you have been pulled over in Lake County, Illinois. It’s a big one. Maybe you were going twice the limit. Maybe you hit triple digits on the radar gun. Maybe your recent driving record isn’t spotless. Is there any hope to avoid a suspension?

There most definitely is. At the Law Offices of Matthew R Gebhardt, P.C., we handle high speeding matters every day for people with all kinds of driving history. There are many options available to you to avoid license suspension and jail time on your aggravated speeding charge.

The best course of action is to call our office immediately for a no hassle, free consultation to discuss all of your options.

We handle matters in the Mundelein, Park City, Round Lake Beach, and Waukegan courthouses on a daily basis.

Call now for a free consultation.

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Lake Forest Underage Drinking Offense Attorney

 Posted on March 10, 2022 in Lake County Defense Attorney

 

Lake Forest Underage Drinking Offense Attorney

As a parent, there are few things worse than getting the call that your child is in legal trouble. You likely feel helpless and anxious for your child’s future, and are not sure of the best way to help your child. One of the best decisions you can make is to speak to a knowledgeable Northbrook underage drinking defense attorney who is well-versed in the Illinois laws surrounding juvenile offenses. Matthew R. Gebhardt understands your feelings and has compassion for your situation. Attorney Gebhardt also realizes that one silly mistake should not negatively impact your child’s future. Juveniles can be charged with most all of the same crimes adults can be charged with, and while the penalties tend to be less severe than those meted out to adults, drinking and driving is the exception.

If your child is facing charges of underage drinking, it is imperative that you speak to Attorney Gebhardt at the earliest possible time for quality representation for the following offenses:

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Juvenile Defense Attorney--Lake County Illinois

 Posted on January 21, 2021 in Juvenile crime

Juvenile Defense Attorney Serving Waukegan and the Northern Suburbs of Chicago

Illinois was the first state to establish a separate court for children, enacting a court system for juveniles that would soon be emulated by the rest of the nation. While most Illinois juveniles are able to avoid getting into trouble with the law, young people do make mistakes as a part of the growing-up process. One moment of poor judgment, or one bad decision should not be allowed to alter the entire course of your child's future. Despite opinions to the contrary, the vast majority of juvenile offenders are neither violent nor repeat offenders, and most deserve a second chance. If your child has been charged with a criminal offense, you are likely extremely worried about how this arrest will affect his or her future.

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