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Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense attorney aggravated DUI

One of the things that police patrols are constantly doing is looking for signs of impaired drivers on the roads. Impaired and drunk driving are responsible for many traffic accidents and deaths each year in the United States. According to the latest data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 10,500 deaths from drunk driving accidents in this country in 2018 alone. Any type of DUI charge is serious, but charges are increased when a DUI incident results in the injury or death of another person. In these cases, the impact a DUI conviction could have on your life could be severe, so it is important to understand the consequences you may face in Illinois.

DUI Resulting in Injury

If you are charged with a DUI and that incident resulted in the bodily harm, injury or death of another person, it is likely that you will be charged with a felony DUI. In Illinois, all felony DUIs are referred to as aggravated DUIs. If you were charged with a DUI and you caused an accident that resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement to another person, you will be charged with a Class 4 felony. This means that you could face between one and four years in prison, up to $25,000 in fines, and a minimum two-year driver’s license revocation.

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Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense attorney plea bargain

If you have ever seen any kind of crime drama movie or TV show, you have probably seen some sort of heated scene take place in a courtroom where the main character’s attorney fights for his or her client’s freedom by attempting to prove his or her innocence. In reality, more than 97 percent of criminal cases are resolved by plea bargains, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). Plea bargains were created in response to a number of issues faced during criminal trials, such as the length of time it takes to go through a trial and the expenses associated with that legal process. However, some argue that plea bargains take away the right to a fair trial.

Understanding Plea Bargains

A plea bargain is an agreement made between the defendant (the person who is accused of the crime) and the prosecutor (the attorney representing the local, state, or federal government entity) as a replacement to a jury trial in a criminal case. The agreement usually involves the defendant pleading guilty or nolo contendere, “no contest” to some or all of the charges that were brought against him or her. Typically, plea bargains involve a reduction in the number of charges brought against the defendant, the severity of the charges, a reduction of the severity of the sentence, or a combination of any of the three.

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Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense attorney BUI

Summer is a beautiful time in northern Illinois. Temperatures rise and allow everyone to spend time outdoors after a long and cold winter. With one of the country’s Great Lakes next door and a sprinkling of smaller lakes and rivers throughout the state, boating and other watersports are a favorite summer pastime for many Illinoisians. Spending time with family and friends often includes alcohol, which can make for a fun time, but it can also cause issues if you are not responsible. In Illinois, operating a boat and operating a car are two very comparable things from a legal standpoint. Many people do not realize that there are laws in Illinois that make it illegal for you to operate a boat or other watercraft while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are charged with boating under the influence (BUI), the penalties can be harsh.  Therefore, it is important that you are aware of them so you do not unintentionally break them.

BUI Laws Do Not Apply Only to Alcohol

Just like driving under the influence (DUI), there are multiple ways you could be charged with a BUI. The Illinois Boat Registration and Safety Act states that a person is guilty of BUI if he or she is in control of the watercraft and:

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Arlington Heights, IL traffic citation defense attorney

Traffic courts are some of the busiest courtrooms around, especially in Illinois. There are many different types of traffic citations with which you can be charged, but the most common violations in Illinois tend to be running red lights, failing to have a copy of insurance information on hand, DUI, drag racing, reckless driving, and speeding. While some of these tickets do not require an appearance in traffic court, you can request one if you feel the need to do so. Going to court may seem daunting, but knowing what to expect can help you be more prepared to secure a positive outcome.

Preparing for Your Hearing

Not all citations require you to appear in traffic court. When you received the ticket, the officer should have informed you of whether or not you are required to attend a hearing. If you are required, you should show up to traffic court at the specified date and time. If not, you can request a hearing to challenge the ticket or plead guilty and pay the fine.

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Rolling Meadows criminal law attorney

Not all crimes are created equally. Some crimes, like assault or murder, are much more serious than lesser crimes, such as theft or traffic violations. Illinois, like all states, has a system for classifying crimes. Crimes are placed into categories of felonies and misdemeanors, of which there are varying “classes” of severity. What many people do not know is that there are also certain factors that can increase or mitigate the severity of the punishment that is imposed on someone who is convicted of a criminal offense. It is important to understand the factors that are commonly used by the prosecution to enhance the charges to “aggravated” in Illinois.

Aggravating Factors in Illinois

Even if someone is convicted of a crime, that does not automatically determine the sentence that he or she will receive. Under Illinois law, a sentencing hearing will occur after the conviction in which a judge will review the case and make a decision as to what the appropriate sentence would be for the specific situation. In some cases, this is when the prosecution has the chance to present any aggravating factors that may be present, which could influence the judge to impose a more serious sentence. Illinois lists 32 unique aggravating factors that could affect a defendant's sentence. Some of the most common factors include:

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