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Arlington Heights, IL child endangerment defense attorney

When it comes to children in Illinois, the state does the best job it can to protect the innocence and well-being of its young citizens. In civil matters involving children, the child’s best interests are always at the top of the list of concerns. Illinois lawmakers, police officers, and other criminal justice personnel view crimes against children as extremely serious matters. One of the most commonly charged crimes against children is child endangerment, which encompasses a variety of behaviors. These charges can mean serious consequences for perpetrators, which is why it is important to understand these offenses and their penalties.

What Is Child Endangerment?

According to the Illinois Criminal Code, child endangerment occurs when a person knowingly causes or allows the life or health of a child under the age of 18 to be endangered or causes or allows the child to be placed in circumstances that endanger the life and health of the child. The statute concerning child endangerment is rather vague, which allows prosecutors and judges to consider a wide variety of behaviors to be prosecuted as child endangerment. Common examples of situations in which child endangerment charges may arise can include:

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Arlington Heights, IL traffic crimes defense attorney

With only days left in this year and decade, the new year is upon us. As usually happens on the first of the year, there are a number of changes to the law that will go into effect in 2020. In fact, the state of Illinois has more than 250 new laws that are set to begin. From regulations for vaccinating pet cats to gender-neutral restrooms and changes to criminal laws, there are a wide variety of topics covered. While some laws only make minor adjustments, others carry some of the biggest changes that the state of Illinois has seen in years. Here are a few of the new laws that will be going into effect in 2020:

Recreational Marijuana Will Be Legal

For decades, marijuana was illegal throughout the country, and possession was punished harshly. January 1, 2020 marks the first day that it will be legal to purchase and consume recreational marijuana in the state of Illinois. Adults who are over the age of 21 will be permitted to purchase a variety of cannabis products, such as dry flower, edibles, tinctures, and creams. Minors under the age of 21 may still be penalized for purchasing or using recreational marijuana, and those who attempt to sell cannabis without a valid license may also face drug charges.

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Arlington Heights, IL hate crimes defense attorney

In the past couple of years, hate crimes have become more prevalent and widely reported in the United States, especially in Illinois. According to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the country as a whole saw a slight drop in the number of hate crimes committed in 2018. Illinois, however, saw a 32 percent increase in hate crimes. A majority of these hate crimes were influenced by the race and sexual orientation of the victims, while religion-based hate crimes saw a slight decrease. Across the United States, nearly half of the 7,120 hate crimes were perpetrated against African Americans. One recent incident in DuPage County involved a race-based hate crime perpetrated by a teenager.

Teen Places Ad on Craigslist for Black Classmate

A Naperville teenager has been charged with a hate crime after he posted an inappropriate ad on Craigslist offering a fellow classmate up for sale. According to investigating officials, the ad, which has since been taken down, bore the title, “Slave for sale” and was followed by a racial slur and also included a photo of a black classmate. Officials announced Wednesday that the 14-year-old boy faced two counts of a hate crime and one count of disorderly conduct for the incident. The school district also took action and punished the boy with two days of suspension, which the victim’s mother chastised as being too lenient. 

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Rolling Meadows, IL disorderly conduct defense attorney

In Illinois, some laws can be somewhat vague, such as reckless driving laws. Under these laws, it is up to a judge and perhaps a jury to determine what “reckless driving” actually is. Similarly, Illinois’ disorderly conduct laws act as a sort of “catch-all” for obnoxious or alarming behavior. What some may consider to be a fun and crazy night out could be considered a breach of disorderly conduct. Although the disorderly conduct statute specifies certain behaviors that can be charged as such, the final decision is still left up to the judge most of the time. Therefore, it is important to learn what behaviors or actions may constitute disorderly conduct in Illinois in case you ever face these criminal charges.

What Is Disorderly Conduct?

There are quite a few behaviors and actions that could result in a disorderly conduct charge. In general, disorderly conduct occurs when you do “any act in such an unreasonable manner as to alarm or disturb another and to provoke a breach of the peace.” This is the most common reason people are hit with disorderly conduct charges -- disturbing the peace. This is also the most subjective disorderly conduct charge, so it might be a little easier to fight in court.

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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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