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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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Rolling Meadows, IL domestic abuse defense attorney

In today’s world, social media plays a big part in many people’s daily lives. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are used by millions of people across the world to connect with one another. Social media is so ingrained into our society that it is important to understand the effects that these digital networking platforms play in our life. In particular, social media has created some concerns when it comes to dealing with domestic violence allegations. In certain scenarios, information or pictures that a defendant posted online could be used against him or her in a criminal case.

Domestic Abuse Laws in Illinois

The state of Illinois defines domestic violence as acts of harassment, abuse, intimidation, interference with personal liberty, or willful deprivation toward a family or household member. In many cases, acts of violence can also be considered assault and/or battery, but when these acts are allegedly perpetrated against a family or household member, they can lead to domestic violence charges.

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Rolling Meadows felony drug possession attorney

In many states, Illinois included, the majority of drug possession crimes are charged as felonies. Felony crimes typically carry serious penalties, including a prison sentence of at least one year. A conviction for a felony crime could affect you for the rest of your life and remain on your criminal record for years, if not permanently. This can impact your personal and professional future, making it difficult to obtain housing or employment. If you have been charged with drug possession, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney about whether requesting probation is an option for this type of drug crime

What Are Felony Drug Possession Charges in Illinois?

The state of Illinois legalized the sale, purchase, consumption, and possession of recreational marijuana at the beginning of 2020. However, there are still limits to the amount of marijuana you can legally possess at any given time. Illinois residents can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis flower, up to 5 grams of cannabis concentrate, and up to 500 milligrams of THC in cannabis-infused products, such as edibles or tinctures. Any amount over these would be considered illegal. While possession of between 30 and 100 grams of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor, a second offense or possession of more than 100 grams may be charged as a felony.

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Rolling Meadows, IL DUI defense attorney

Alcohol is a common source of trouble for teens. Underage drinking is fairly typical in the United States, but it can result in significant criminal charges and even life-threatening problems. For young adults, unintentional injuries are the most common cause of death, with the majority of those injuries related to car accidents. When you add alcohol use into the mix, the likelihood of a vehicle crash is even higher. This is why the laws pertaining to underage drinking and alcohol possession are so strict and carry such serious consequences. Teens and underage young adults can face severe punishments for violating certain alcohol-related offenses, including driving under the influence (DUI). 

Underage Drinking

You must be 21 or older to legally purchase or consume alcohol in the United States. If you are under the age of 21, you are not permitted to consume alcohol, or you could be charged with underage drinking. If you are convicted of underage drinking, you face a six-month driver's license suspension, unless you were sentenced to court supervision, in which case you face a three-month driver’s license suspension. A second conviction may result in a one-year suspension, and further convictions can result in a revocation.

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Arlington Heights, IL drunk driving defense attorney

If you are a driver, there is a good chance you will be pulled over by law enforcement for some reason during your lifetime. If you have ever been stopped by the police, you know the feelings of anxiety and fear that can manifest because of those flashing red and blue lights. Being pulled over because an officer suspects you are driving under the influence (DUI) is even more serious. DUI offenses are not taken lightly in the state of Illinois, and a conviction for a first offense could result in steep fines, the suspension or revocation of your driver's license, and even jail time. Although the uncertainty of a DUI traffic stop can be very intimidating, what you do after being pulled over can greatly impact your case. Below are a few common mistakes that people make after being pulled over on suspicion of DUI:

Admitting You Have Been Drinking

When the police officer first approaches your window, he or she will probably try to make small talk. This might include questions about where you have been or what you have been doing. The officer might even outright ask you if you have been drinking. While you should never answer that you have indeed been drinking, you should also never lie to the police. If an officer asks you if you have been drinking, you can inform him or her that you would rather not answer that question.

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