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Recent Blog Posts

The Illinois Criminal Process for Domestic Violence Defendants

 Posted on October 30, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Cook County criminal defense lawyerIf you have been accused of domestic violence in Illinois, it is vital that you understand the legal process and procedures in order to build the most robust defense. An Illinois lawyer can guide you through each step.

The Arrest

Suppose the police are called for an alleged domestic incident. In that case, they will interview all parties, assess the situation, document any evidence of abuse, and make an arrest if they feel it is justified. Do not resist arrest or make any statements to the police without your lawyer present. The arrest means formal charges will be brought against you.

The Arraignment

Your first court appearance after arrest is the arraignment hearing. This is when formal charges are presented. You will enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. The bail terms and pre-trial release conditions, like a no-contact order with the alleged victim, are also imposed.

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Diversion Programs for First-Time Shoplifters in Illinois

 Posted on September 15, 2023 in Retail Theft

sIL defense lawyerBeing arrested for shoplifting can be a terrifying wake-up call, especially for first-time offenders who made a foolish mistake. While retail theft charges must be taken seriously, some first-time shoplifters may qualify for pretrial diversion programs that can lead to dismissal of charges. For the right candidates, diversion provides an opportunity to get your life back on track with an Illinois attorney.

What is Diversion and How Can it Help?

Diversion programs are designed to give alternatives to criminal prosecution for select defendants. With retail theft diversion, instead of going through a traditional conviction and sentencing, eligible shoplifters enter into agreements that impose certain requirements. By completing classes, community service, counseling, and restitution as required, you can earn dismissal of the charges.

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Illinois Supreme Court Allows for the Elimination of Cash Bail

 Posted on August 10, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Northbrook pretrial detention attorneyIn 2021, the Illinois General Assembly passed the Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today (SAFE-T) Act, which made a number of reforms to the state’s criminal justice system. Some of the most notable changes were known as the Pretrial Fairness Act, which eliminated cash bail for people who are arrested and charged with crimes. While this provision was originally meant to go into effect on January 1, 2023, legal challenges have been raised, and courts halted the implementation of these changes to the law. However, a recent ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court will allow the law to go into effect.

On July 18, 2023, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the Pretrial Fairness Act is constitutional. The court stated that the provisions of the law maintain the balance between the rights of criminal defendants and the rights of crime victims that is required by the Illinois Constitution. The stay on the implementation of the Pretrial Fairness Act will be lifted on September 18, 2023, and as of that date, cash bail will be abolished in Illinois.

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Alternatives to Sentencing for Illinois Drug Crime Convictions

 Posted on July 11, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Skokie Criminal LawyerIncarceration, as a form of punishment and rehabilitation, has been a widely used approach in the criminal justice system for centuries. The primary objective of placing someone in jail or prison is to deter them from engaging in criminal activities in the future, protect society from potential danger from the individual, and provide an opportunity for their rehabilitation. When it comes to incarceration as a way to prevent drug addiction and the crimes associated with addiction, there has been much debate on its actual effectiveness.

The Pros

One argument in favor of incarceration's effectiveness is that it serves as a deterrent to other people who may be considering committing crimes. The fear of incarceration and the loss of personal freedom may discourage individuals from engaging in criminal behavior. The threat of punishment can act as a deterrent factor, preventing some individuals from committing crimes. And since jailing an offender removes them from society, there is the added benefit of protecting the public from any potential harm from criminal acts the offender could engage in if they were still on the streets.

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What Not to Do in a DUI Stop

 Posted on June 08, 2023 in DUI

Lake County DUI attorneyIf you are pulled over by law enforcement for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), it's crucial to handle the situation carefully to protect your rights and minimize potential consequences. The following are mistakes that many people make during the encounter that results in further legal trouble than the initial stop itself.

Admitting Guilt or Providing Incriminating Information

When interacting with law enforcement, it is important to remain calm and respectful, but you must avoid admitting guilt or providing self-incriminating information. You have the right to remain silent and can politely decline to answer any questions that may be used against you in court. It is advisable to provide only necessary information, such as your identification, and refrain from volunteering any additional details that could be used against you. Never admit to an officer you have had any alcohol. You should also not agree to let the officer search your vehicle. 

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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 even after you have satisfied whatever penalty the court imposes. 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. If you live in Illinois and have questions about how a felony could impact your future, contact our Illinois criminal defense attorney now.

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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