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Arlington Heights retail theft defense lawyer

In the grand scheme of things, retail theft is a relatively minor crime--but it is still a crime. In many cases, retail theft is a misdemeanor charge in Illinois, but it can elevate to a felony charge in certain situations. What many people do not know is that retail theft is not just simply taking something from a store without paying for it. You can be charged with retail theft for a variety of different actions, which also determine the type of charge and the applicable penalties if you are convicted. 

General Retail Theft

When most people think of retail theft, they probably think of the type of theft that is defined under the Illinois Criminal Code. According to Illinois law, general retail theft occurs when a person takes possession of, carries away, transfers, or aids in the transferring or carrying away of merchandise without paying for the products and with the intention of depriving the store of its use or benefit. Retail theft is a Class A misdemeanor, as long as the value of the allegedly stolen merchandise does not exceed $300. If the merchandise is valued at more than $300, then the charge is elevated to a Class 3 felony. A repeat offense of retail theft is also an elevated charge and is classified as a Class 4 felony.

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Rolling Meadows, IL sex crimes defense attorney

Due to the #MeToo movement and revelations about the criminal actions of some public figures, some types of crimes are receiving increased scrutiny. Accusations of sex crimes, such as sexual assault, are becoming more common, and offenders can face significant penalties, including imprisonment and fines. However, in some cases involving sex crimes, the accusations may come years after the crimes allegedly occurred, and the statute of limitations may have passed. The “statute of limitations” is a designated period of time in which an individual can bring legal action against another party. Recently, Illinois became the eighth state to remove the statute of limitations on sex crimes, and those who are facing these types of charges should be sure to understand how this change in the law may affect them.

No Time Limit to Report Sex Offenses

The new law, which will take effect beginning January 1, 2020, will allow alleged victims to come forward at any time to press charges against alleged abusers, and prosecutors will be able to pursue these charges. The law will remove the statute of limitations on felony sex crimes, including criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

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Rolling Meadows, IL defense attorney

There are many consequences that can come with breaking the law. Depending on the crime, you could face community service, probation, fines, restitution, and in some cases, jail time. Another consequence of certain crimes can be asset forfeiture, where the government takes your belongings if they believe they are connected to a crime. This can be problematic, especially if you are innocent of the charges you face. 

Both the state and the federal government can seize assets if they believe they were acquired in illegal ways. According to the Illinois State Police and the U.S. Department of Justice, the state of Illinois has taken more than $319 million in assets from citizens since 2005, while the federal government has seized more than $404 million during the same period. If you are facing a seizure of your assets, it is important to have a criminal defense attorney by your side who will fight for you.

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Arlington Heights criminal defense attorney Miranda rightsIn 1966, the United States Supreme Court made a landmark ruling in the case of Miranda v. Arizona when it made a decision on how suspects are to be informed of their constitutional rights when they are arrested on felony or misdemeanor charges. Ernesto Miranda was arrested in 1963 on suspicion of kidnapping and rape. After a long interrogation, Miranda confessed to the charges and signed a statement that his confession was made willingly and knowingly and that he understood his legal rights. When his case went to trial, his lawyers discovered that he had not, in fact, been informed of his constitutional rights to remain silent, to be represented by a lawyer, and to have that lawyer present during the interrogation. This Supreme Court ruling is one of the most famous cases in U.S. history, and it has changed the way arrests and interrogations have been handled ever since.

Miranda Rights Are Constitutional Rights

Because of Miranda v. Arizona, police officers are required to inform you of your rights before they begin an interrogation. Though some police departments may use different wording, the basis of the statements must be the same. Most police departments will use a version of the following: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you. Do you understand the rights that I have just read to you?” It must be established that the suspect is aware of his or her rights before any interrogation can occur.

Misconceptions About Miranda Rights

The point of the Miranda Warning is to inform suspects of the rights that are granted to them by the United States Constitution. This includes the right to protection against self-incrimination and the right to legal counsel. Some people have misunderstandings about their Miranda rights and what that means for their criminal cases.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-design-15.jpgUsing cell phone records to track a suspect’s movement and activity is a frequent technique used by law enforcement when conducting a criminal investigation. However, change appears to be on the horizon as members of the United States Supreme Court seem to indicate that prolonged cell phone tracking without a warrant amounts to an unreasonable search and violates an alleged defendant’s right to privacy.

What Has Changed?

A previous Supreme Court ruling indicated that citizens could expect no privacy from making calls from a landline or for checks they wrote on a bank account; it is widely known and expected that calls or transactions for these are kept for a number of business purposes. This latest challenge seems to indicate a shift from that position.

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