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IL defense lawyerDriving is a privilege - not a right. There is nothing in any law or constitution that says you must have the right to drive. Being able to legally drive is a privilege that can be easily taken away if you have violated certain rules or regulations. Two of the ways your driving privileges can be taken away in Illinois is through a driver’s license revocation or suspension. Both are very similar but differ in the length of time your privileges are gone.

Driver’s License Revocations

In certain situations, your driving privileges can be revoked, meaning they are withdrawn for an indefinite amount of time. The Illinois Secretary of State will revoke your driving privileges if you are a repeat traffic offender or if you were convicted of causing a crash that resulted in the death of another person. Other situations that could lead to a driver’s license revocation include:


expungement, background check, criminal record, Arlington Heights criminal defense attorneyA trip to the grocery store leads to arrest, expungement and a $40 million lawsuit.

One evening last April, Elizabeth Daly, a student at the University of Virginia, and two of her friends went inside a grocery store and purchased some food items, including a case of canned sparkling water. No alcoholic beverages were purchased and none of the three had been drinking alcohol. As the three got back into Daly’s vehicle, they were confronted by two agents from the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). The agents began banging on the windows of the car, and yelled at the three to keep the vehicle turned off and to roll down the windows. The two agents flashed their badges, but Daly and her friends could not make out where they were from. The car was then surrounded by five more agents. At this point, Daly called 911 from her cell phone and handed it to her friend. The three girls weren’t sure the agents were actual law enforcement. The three were frightened, and Daly was shaking and confused what to do at this point. Suddenly, one of the agents drew a gun and another tried smashing one of the windows with a metal flashlight. Daly drove off with every intention of driving to the closest police station. She stopped at a red light and the 911 operator, still on the line, confirmed the agents were from the ABC. Police arrived and brought Daly to the station. While at the station, one of the ABC agents filed a criminal complaint against Daly, accusing her of assaulting two of the agents and also for failing to stop when ordered to do so. Daly spent the night in jail. Two months later, all charges were dropped and in October, the incident was expunged from her record. Daly, who now suffers from intense anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and a tremor in her hand, recently filed a $40 million lawsuit against the ABC. The lawsuit says that Daly "does not and never has consumed alcohol or abused drugs, and/or her parents, on her behalf, have incurred significant legal, medical and other costs, and will continue to do so in the future due to the malicious, intentional, and/or grossly negligent actions of the defendants.. . . The agents acted with actual malice, out of embarrassment and disgrace for their own intentional and grossly negligent acts and charged [Daly] with three felonies and did so out of anger and personal spite." Despite the charges being dropped, if Daly had not had the incident expunged from her record, it would have still shown up as public record, where it could have been seen by potential future employers, family, business associates or friends. If you have prior criminal charges that were dropped or you were found not guilty, contact an experienced Cook County criminal defense attorney today to discuss how those charges can be expunged from your record.
soda, alcohol, blood alcohol content, BAC, DUI, drinking and driving,

The results of a new study indicate that artificial sweeteners, like those found in diet sodas, increase people’s blood alcohol concentrations.

The study was conducted by Dr. Cecile A. Marczinski and lab assistant Amy L. Stamates at the Northern Kentucky University. The results were published in the medical journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. There were eight men and eight women, between the ages of 21 and 33 years old, that participated in the study. People who were infrequent drinkers were not included in the study. Also excluded were people with diabetes, psychiatric disorders, head trauma or any other injuries to the central nervous system, or anyone who has substance abuse problems. Participants came to three different sessions where they were given random drinks and then had their blood alcohol content measured. The drinks the study subjects were given were either vodka and Squirt soda, vodka and Diet Squirt soda, or vodka and a placebo drink. The drinks contained 1.97 ml/kg vodka mixed with 3.94 ml/kg of the soda or placebo. The vodka used in the drinks was 40 proof. The participants who consumed the drinks with the diet soda had significantly higher blood alcohol content than those that consumed the drinks made with regular soda. Levels measured averaged 18 percent higher. Those people also had greater impairment and slower response times. The conclusion of the study was that diet soda mixed with alcohol will result in higher blood alcohol contents than regular soda mixed with alcohol. The results of the study confirm findings from previous studies done about how diet sodas can affect blood alcohol levels. In 2011, a group of researchers surveyed people who were leaving bars. Participants of the survey shared what and how much they had drank, as well as letting researchers take breath samples. The study’s findings were that those that had consumed alcoholic beverages made with diet soda had higher blood alcohol readings. There are many things that can affect the results of a blood alcohol content test. If you’ve been arrested and charged with DUI, contact an experienced Arlington Heights criminal defense attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

criminal exoneration, Arlington Heights criminal defense, criminal lawyer, Chicago attorneyAccording to a report from the National Registry of Exonerations, last year, Illinois was the number two state in the nation which exonerated people who were wrongfully convicted of crimes. In 2013, the state exonerated 9 people, officially vindicated of the crimes for which they were convicted. Some of those who had been convicted had been in prison for decades for crimes they had never committed. The number one state with the most exonerations in 2013 was Texas, with 13 people absolved of their criminal convictions. New York followed with 8, California with 6, Michigan and Missouri were tied with 5. According to the registry, there have been 1,304 exonerations nationally since 1989. One third of the total number of exonerated cases was for crimes that didn’t actually happen. Almost half of these were for non-violent crimes. The racial/ethical breakdown was as follows: 47 percent of those exonerated were black, 40 percent were white, 11 percent were Hispanic and 2 percent were Native American or Asian. Ninety-two percent were men and eight percent were women. Eleven percent of those exonerated had pled guilty before trial. Eighty-one percent were convicted by a jury and seven percent convicted by a judge. One percent was unknown.

The total number for 2013 was 87, which was the highest year ever. However, the percentage of those exonerations based on DNA evidence dropped. A spokesperson from the registry said this decrease is a good indicator of the increasing number of convictions that are being granted that are for crimes other than murder and sexual assault.

 However, legal experts also point out that these figures also highlight the need for a good quality defense attorney. Almost one third of those exonerated were convicted due to what the registry refers to as an "inadequate legal defense." The total number of years combined that the 87 people whom were exonerated had spent a total of 12,500 years in jail for crimes they didn’t commit. If you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime, contact an experienced Arlington Heights criminal defense attorney to ensure that your rights are protected in the courtroom.