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IL defense lawyerCountries around the world vary when it comes to the legal drinking age. In some countries, such as Germany, the legal drinking age is 16. In other countries -- around 61 percent of countries around the globe -- have a legal drinking age of 18 or 19 years old. The legal drinking age for anyone in any of the 50 states is 21. If a minor is caught drinking before they are 21, they face possible criminal charges, a driver’s license suspension or revocation, and expensive fines. In Illinois, an adult who furnishes alcohol to a minor or allows minors to drink on their property can also face criminal charges.

Illinois’ “Social Host” Law

Despite years of bringing attention to the dangers of underage drinking and advocating against it, plenty of teens still consume alcohol across the country. The majority of alcohol consumption by minors is done at home in social settings. However, parents are not permitted to allow minors to drink. This “social host” law was put into effect in 2013 and prohibits parents from knowingly allowing their child or other minors to consume alcohol, even in a private residence. Parents who break this law face a Class A misdemeanor charge, which is the most serious of misdemeanors. For a Class A misdemeanor, you face up to one year in jail, a minimum fine of $500, and the possibility of up to $2,500 in fines.

If the parent knowingly allows minors to consume alcohol on their property and anyone suffers a great bodily injury or death, the parent can be charged with a Class 4 felony. This means that you could face between one and three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.

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IL defense lawyerIf you have ever watched a movie or TV show dealing with the subject of crime, chances are you have heard someone try to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, which is also sometimes shortened to simply “pleading insanity.” This is often an easy subject to dramatize, making it a prime subject for show business, but this idea actually also has legitimate merit in the legal world, though under specific circumstances. In some situations, pleading not guilty by reason of insanity is a possible way a person could be held not criminally responsible for a crime, but only if they meet certain requirements.

Insanity in Illinois

According to Illinois law, a person cannot be held criminally responsible for a crime if they are unaware of the illegal nature of their actions because of a “mental disease or mental defect.” Insanity is an admissible defense if the defense team can prove that a person meets the state’s requirements for “mental disease or mental defect.” Different states have slightly different ways of determining whether or not a person meets the standards, but Illinois follows the requirements set forth by the American Law Institute in the Model Penal Code. These standards state that a person cannot use the insanity defense unless they:

  • Have a qualifying mental disease or mental defect
  • The mental disease or mental defect caused the person to be unable to appreciate that what he or she did was illegal

Consequences of an Insanity Plea

Once you make the petition for insanity, you will then have to attend a hearing to determine whether or not the petition will be granted. If your defense team is able to successfully prove an insanity plea, then it will be determined whether or not you will ever be fit to stand trial for the crime. In either case, you will be sentenced to treatment in a mental health facility and could remain there for all or a portion of your sentence. There is also a possibility that the treatment ordered at the mental health facility lasts longer than your sentence would have.

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Arlington Heights, IL criminal defense attorney unlawful use of a weapon

Across the United States, firearms and other weapons are highly regulated in an attempt to keep them out of the hands of wrongdoers and to keep citizens safe. The state of Illinois is no exception. Illinois has some relatively strict laws when it comes to the possession and use of firearms and other weapons. These laws exist as a means to protect people and to keep the community safe, which is why a conviction for unlawful use of a weapon charge has the possibility of resulting in a misdemeanor or even a felony charge in some situations. The severity of the charge will depend on the circumstances surrounding the incident, which is why it is important to discuss the details of your case with a skilled criminal defense lawyer.

What Constitutes an Illinois UUW Charge?

When it comes to the unlawful use of weapons charge in Illinois, there are various situations in which you could be charged with this crime. However, the most common reason people are charged with a UUW charge is because of a firearm owner’s identification (FOID) card or a concealed carry violation. In the state of Illinois, any person who wishes to legally possess and purchase a firearm must apply for and receive a FOID card. Gun owners who wish to carry their firearm on their person or transport it in their vehicle must receive a concealed carry permit stating that they are allowed to do so. 

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Rolling Meadows, IL criminal law attorneyIn mid-March, communities across the United States experienced a shutdown of nonessential businesses and operations, a move made in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, which has moved through the country like wildfire. Confirmed COVID-19 cases have peaked at more than 5 million nationwide, while plans to reopen and resume business as usual move forward in some states. The coronavirus pandemic has brought uncertainty into almost every aspect of our lives, even in the criminal justice system. Many criminal cases have been backlogged since March, while new cases have been accumulating, leaving many, like you, to wonder about the status of their case. As of early July, Cook County courts were instructed to begin resuming most court operations, with safety protocols put in place. If you have been charged with a crime in Illinois, you should expect to be notified about your modified court proceedings.

Safety Protocols Put into Place

An executive order signed by Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans allowed Illinois courts to resume court operations beginning July 6. However, the order also required the implementation of several health and safety protocols to help contain the spread of coronavirus. These protocols include:

  • Reducing the number of people entering the courts each day

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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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