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Arlington Heights Criminal Lawyer, attorney, Chicago DUI, DUI lawyer, felony DUI, Illinois criminal defense lawyer, Illinois dui, illinois dui attorney, Illinois DUI Lawyer, underage drinkersIllinois has some of the toughest drinking and driving laws in the country, including a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinkers and felony charges for repeat offenders. Despite this, the problem of driving under the influence in Illinois continues to be a serious one.

According to the 2014 CyberDrive Illinois DUI Factbook, in 2012 there were more than 37,000 DUI arrests recorded by the Secretary of State’s Office. More than 300 people were fatally injured in an alcohol-related crash, accounting for 35 percent of all accident fatalities statewide in the same time period.

The penalties for drinking and driving are worse if the responsible person has an underage person in the car at the time of arrest. If the child is under 16, these penalties are even more harsh. A regular first conviction of DUI, for example, is a Class A misdemeanor, which results in the revocation of driving privileges and registration suspension. If a person is pulled over for DUI with a child under the age of 16—even if it is his or her first offense—the offender is additionally sentenced to a mandatory fine of $1,000 and 25 days of "community service in a program benefiting children," as noted in the Illinois DUI Factbook. Penalties are very strict if the child was injured while the driver was intoxicated. Any crash that resulted in bodily harm to a child under the age of 16 is automatically classified as a Class 4 Felony and carries an aggravated DUI charge.

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gun penalties imageThe amount of crime in the city of Chicago has created national news recently.  The FBI has released statistics that there were 500 murders in Chicago last year up from 431 in 2011.  That is over 80 more than New York City although the Big Apple boasts three times the population of Chicago.   It is not the most dangerous city as the city of Flint in Michigan receives that distinction.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is trying to change the amount of violent crime in the city by making tougher laws.  He has proposed an increase to the minimum sentence for people convicted of illegally possessing a gun.  Each time that there are violent crimes in the city, both Mayor Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy have championed this revision at every turn.  Emanuel went so far to say, "In fact, I would like to ... note that the same minimum penalty we have for a gun law is what we have for shoplifting."

The current law sets the minimum punishment of carrying an illegal gun at two years.  Offenders often serve less half of their sentence.  The new law proposes that the minimum sentence would be raised to three years.  85 percent of the sentence would have to be served to be granted a release.

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Most people are aware that being charged with a misdemeanor is a bad thing, but not everyone is aware of what sorts of offenses fall under the category of a misdemeanor, or what the different types of misdemeanors are. In order to be fully aware of your rights and avoid facing legal trouble throughout your life, it is very important that you are informed as to what the different classifications of Illinois misdemeanors are and what kind of consequences they can lead to.

Illinois Misdemeanor Charges "Class A" Misdemeanor

Offenses under this category are generally referred to as the most serious types of misdemeanors. If you are charged with one of these, you could face up to 364 days in jail as well as a fine of up to $2500. It is also true, depending on the offense, that your sentence could include the requirement of things like probation, substance-abuse treatment, or community service work.

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imsis520-024Each year, new laws are put in place to change certain behaviors and make the state of Illinois a better place to live.  Former State Representative and current Chicago alderman, Deb Mell, sponsored a bill that will try to keep the streets of Illinois clean.

Cigarette butts are a constant problem on the streets of Illinois.  Lori Gummow, the executive director of Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful, said that "cigarette butts are not biodegradable.  They’re made of cellulose acetate (a plastic). They get stuck in storm water sewers, and birds eat them and can’t digest them."  They might be small but they never go away.

Starting in 2014, cigarettes butts will be classified as litter thanks to an amendment to the Litter Control Act.  While the amendment was passed in August, the law itself won’t be policed until the beginning of 2014.

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cell phone and drivingIn August of this year, Governor Quinn passed a law to strengthen the ban against using cell phones while driving.  The hope was that a updated law would help curb the commonplace occurrence of people talking while driving.  Before this law was strengthened, it was already a law in downtown Chicago and 70 other communities in Illinois.

The update made a first time offense cost $75 if you are caught driving with a cell phone on your ear.  Each additional offense would result in an increased fine of as much as $150.  But the upgraded law makes using a cell phone a moving violation.  If you receive more than three in a year, you could lose your license.

Distracted driving also includes texting while driving. This practice has been illegal for many years. The penalty is higher than driving while on the phone.  The fine is $120. Now the new law also strengthens the definition of distracted driving.  Even if you are holding the phone in your hand, you could be charged with distracted driving.

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