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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 criminal charges defense attorney

Being arrested for a crime can be a very traumatic experience. When you are arrested, you are handcuffed by the police officer and taken to be processed and held in jail. Your first thought when you land in jail might be, “How can I get out?” Usually, the quickest way to do that is to have a friend or family member post bail for you. Typically, weeks or even months can pass between your initial arrest and the disposition of your sentence. Posting bail allows you to be released from custody and go about your normal life until you are requested to appear back in court. It is important to understand how the bail process works in case you or your loved one is ever facing criminal charges in Illinois. 

How Is Bail Set?

Depending on the type of crime, you might be allowed to post bail the same night you are arrested. For offenses that are more serious, such as violent crimes, you may be required to remain in custody until you attend a bail hearing before a judge. During this hearing, the judge will determine whether or not you are eligible for bail and at what amount your bail should be set. Judges use a variety of factors to determine whether you should be eligible for bail, including the seriousness of the alleged offense, the risk that you may attempt to flee before your case can be heard in court, and the safety risks that you may pose to other individuals or the community.

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Arlington Heights order of protection defense attorney

Domestic violence is something that is taken very seriously in today’s world. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, more than 12 million people are victims of domestic violence each year. Being accused of domestic abuse can have a serious impact on your life. Under Illinois law, there are a number of solutions offered to family violence victims so that they can remain safe from harm. If you have been accused of domestic violence, and an order of protection (also known as a restraining order) has been issued against you, it is important to understand how what you can and cannot do, and you should be aware of the possible consequences for violating this type of order. In some cases, a restraining order may be based on false allegations. Regardless of the circumstances of your case, an experienced criminal defense attorney can advocate on your behalf to clear your record and your reputation. 

Requirements of an Order of Protection

If a family or household member has accused you of committing domestic violence, they may ask for an emergency order of protection to be issued. This type of order can be obtained even if you are not present at the hearing where it was requested, and once it goes into effect, it will impose a number of requirements that you must follow. After an emergency order of protection is issued, a hearing will be scheduled, and during this hearing, the judge will try to determine whether long term protections are necessary. If a plenary order of protection is issued, it may remain in effect for up to two years.

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Arlington Heights, IL criminal defense coronavirus quarantine order

Since January, the world has seen an exponential rise in the number of COVID-19 cases. As of March 23, there were nearly 335,000 confirmed cases reported around the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). We still do not know everything that we need to know about COVID-19, a new virus that has emerged from the coronavirus family. What we do know is that most people are recovering from the virus, although individuals who have underlying health conditions or who are over the age of 65 have a higher mortality rate. 

One thing we do know is that COVID-19 is spreading rapidly through person-to-person contact. So far, the only effective way to stop the spread is to practice social distancing if you do not have the virus, quarantine yourself if you believe you may have come into contact with someone who does have the virus, and isolate yourself if you are confirmed to have the virus. In Illinois, if you are given specific quarantine orders, you must obey them, or you risk potential criminal charges.

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Rolling Meadows, IL sexual assault defense attorney

In 2017, The New York Times published a story detailing accounts of sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. The case has been closely followed for the past three years as numerous charges were brought against Weinstein for various instances of alleged rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. In January of 2020, the trial against Weinstein began in New York, and it came to a close in late February, with the jury delivering a guilty verdict. Those who are familiar with this case may wonder how Illinois’ laws address accusations of sex crimes.

Weinstein Convicted of Criminal Sexual Assault and Rape

After the initial accusations brought against Weinstein by actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, more women came forth to make claims that they had also suffered sexual assaults by Weinstein. While dozens of women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, he faced two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of first-degree rape, one count of third-degree rape, and one count of a criminal sexual act in the first degree. After five days of deliberation, Weinstein was convicted of third-degree rape and a criminal sexual act in the first degree. He was subsequently sentenced to 23 years in prison.

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