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Arlington Heights retail theft defense lawyer

In the grand scheme of things, retail theft is a relatively minor crime--but it is still a crime. In many cases, retail theft is a misdemeanor charge in Illinois, but it can elevate to a felony charge in certain situations. What many people do not know is that retail theft is not just simply taking something from a store without paying for it. You can be charged with retail theft for a variety of different actions, which also determine the type of charge and the applicable penalties if you are convicted. 

General Retail Theft

When most people think of retail theft, they probably think of the type of theft that is defined under the Illinois Criminal Code. According to Illinois law, general retail theft occurs when a person takes possession of, carries away, transfers, or aids in the transferring or carrying away of merchandise without paying for the products and with the intention of depriving the store of its use or benefit. Retail theft is a Class A misdemeanor, as long as the value of the allegedly stolen merchandise does not exceed $300. If the merchandise is valued at more than $300, then the charge is elevated to a Class 3 felony. A repeat offense of retail theft is also an elevated charge and is classified as a Class 4 felony.

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Rolling Meadows, IL firearms violation defense lawyer

In today’s world, firearms have become a popular topic of conversation in both the legislative arena and in everyday life. Many lawmakers have pushed for increased regulation of the sale, purchase, and use of guns throughout the country, but many Americans still cling to their Second Amendment rights. The state of Illinois has fairly strict laws when it comes to guns. If you wish to possess a firearm in Illinois, you must first apply and receive a firearm owner’s identification (FOID) card. Similar to a driver’s license, the card contains information about you and is proof that you are permitted to own a firearm. In certain situations, your FOID card could be revoked, which would require you to take certain steps to avoid criminal charges.

How Can I Lose My FOID Card Privileges?

Illinois has established a set of criteria that each person wishing to own a firearm must meet. A FOID card is valid for 10 years after it is issued, but it can be revoked at any time if your circumstances change and you no longer meet the eligibility requirements. Your FOID card can be revoked if you:

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Arlington Heights criminal defense attorney

In Illinois, there are a few crimes that police officers take very seriously. One of those crimes is obstruction of justice. Obstruction of justice can be something as simple as providing a police officer with a false name or as serious as directly lying to a police officer about something he or she is questioning you about. No matter the act caused you to be charged with obstruction of justice, this crime is a felony in Illinois and can result in serious consequences that could follow you for the rest of your life. When facing these charges, it is best to consult with a criminal defense lawyer who has experience in obstruction of justice charges so you can plan an appropriate defense.

What Is Obstruction of Justice?

According to the Illinois Criminal Code of 2012, obstruction of justice occurs when a person intentionally prevents the apprehension or obstructs the prosecution or defense of a person and knowingly:

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Arlington Heights, IL defense attorney

There are a number of things that can cause a police officer to pull you over. Maybe your tail light was out, you did not use your turn signal, or you ran a red light. A police officer will likely pull you over for such violations. In some situations, an officer may request to search your vehicle. While the aforementioned violations could constitute a legal traffic stop, is it legal if the officer requests to search your vehicle? Technically, there are certain circumstances in which a police officer can search your vehicle without a warrant.

Police Searches of Vehicles

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution states U.S. citizens have the right to “be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” This means police cannot search your property for no reason. There are only a handful of situations in which a police officer can legally search your car without a search warrant.

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Rolling Meadows, IL defense attorney

In the United States, violent crime is not uncommon. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there were more than 1.2 million violent crimes reported in the country in 2017. In Illinois alone, there were an estimated 56,000 incidences of violent crime that year. The state of Illinois defines violent crime as any felony crime that involves the use of force or the threat of force against the victim, or any misdemeanor crime in which death or great bodily harm comes to the victim.

Violent crime is taken extremely seriously and penalties for a conviction are severe. If you are charged with a violent crime, it is important you understand the potential consequences, and that you speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

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