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Arlington Heights, IL criminal defense attorney court supervision

It can be a scary experience when you or a loved one has been charged with a crime. There are many parts of the criminal justice system that are confusing, overwhelming, and at times just downright frustrating. Much of this frustration and anxiety stems from the initial uncertainty of the outcome of the situation and how it will affect the rest of your life. Certain criminal offenses carry stigmas with them and a conviction on your record could mar it forever. Some crimes even result in consequences that could impact you for the rest of your life, such as if you were convicted of an offense that will never be eligible for expungement. Fortunately, your fate is not set in stone when you are charged with a crime. There are also a variety of sentencing options that are available for the judge to choose from in many cases, including court supervision.

What Is Court Supervision?

In Illinois, the courts allow judges to sentence certain misdemeanor criminal offenders to court supervision, which then suspends the judgment in the case for a specified amount of time. Felony offenders are not eligible for court supervision and must be sentenced to conditional discharge, probation, or prison. Rather than immediately doling out a conviction, court supervision basically puts the case on pause until your period of supervision has concluded. Court supervision also functions very similarly to probation, as the judge can choose to include certain provisions in the order for supervision that you must follow or face further punishment.

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Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense attorney

When it comes to the people responsible for a crime, in some cases, it can be more than just the offender who is held responsible for the commission of the crime. This is the basic idea behind the concept of criminal accountability. In the state of Illinois, it is legal for a person to be arrested and charged for simply knowing about a crime that someone else committed. While this may seem unfair, the law of accountability has actually helped Illinois law enforcement with the prosecution of criminal organizations and gang members. However, the law of accountability can also unfairly and unjustly convict innocent people of crimes that they did not commit and should not be accountable for.

What Is the “Law of Accountability” in Illinois?

Many states across the country, including Illinois, have created laws that are known as accountability laws, which allows the state to convict individuals of crimes that they did not commit, but that they were “accessories” to or “passive participants” in. Specifically, the Illinois Criminal Code states that a person is legally accountable for the actions of another person when they have the intent to promote or facilitate the commission of a crime and they aid, abet, agree, or attempt to aid another person in the planning or commission of the offense.

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Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense attorney

If you have ever experienced a brush with the law or been arrested, it is likely you have spoken with a criminal defense attorney in your lifetime. These lawyers are arguably one of the most important people involved in any case. The right to a defense is so important to the American way of life that it was even included in the United States Constitution. The law states that any person accused of a crime will be assigned an attorney if he or she cannot afford one. Although you are not technically required to have legal representation when you face criminal charges, having an attorney by your side can dramatically increase the chances that your case will result in a favorable ending.

Why Seeking Legal Representation Is Important

The legal principle that a person is considered innocent until proven guilty is an inherent right to every U.S. citizen. However, it is essential to have legal counsel to protect your rights in a courtroom for the following reasons:

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illinois-dui-boatingIllinois lawmakers are considering three bills that are aimed at making the state’s waterways safer for recreational boaters. These bills amend boating safety laws that are already in place, and one of the bills under consideration would enforce stricter penalties for boating while under the influence than those currently listed under Illinois criminal law.

Under SB1477, anyone who is convicted of operating a watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol would have their driver’s license suspended for three months. The bill is sponsored by state Senator Julie Morrison, whose 10-year-old nephew was killed after falling of a tube on Petite Lake in northern Illinois. Anthony Borcia was struck by a boat whose operator plead guilty to aggravated driving under the influence after a blood test found alcohol and cocaine in his system.

A second bill, SB1478 would require Illinois residents born after Jan. 1, 1990 to successfully complete a boating safety course before they would be allowed to operate a watercraft. Currently, only children between the ages of 12 and 18 who are not accompanied by a parent or guardian are required to receive a safety certificate to operate a boat.

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