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Rolling Meadows, IL defense lawyer

Appearing in court can feel like you are back in high school, everyone looking at you, scrutinizing your every move and word, and judging your appearance and behavior. Unlike in high school, where a misstep might make you a temporary laughingstock, one wrong move in the courtroom can leave you with a potentially devastating outcome. 

When you are in court, the judge, the opposing attorney or prosecutor, and the jury are all judging your appearance and examining your behavior to determine your credibility. Here are a few tips to help you be at your best when you have a criminal court hearing:

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Arlington Heights criminal defense attorneyIf you have ever watched a crime show on television, then you probably believe that forensic and DNA evidence is the gold standard in courtrooms. Your perception is further reinforced by the number of people who have been exonerated by DNA evidence and the high-profile cases in which DNA or other forensic evidence lead to a conviction. Unfortunately, what no one will tell you is that these forms of evidence are not foolproof. In fact, some are downright faulty, and others are riddled with errors that lead to the conviction of the wrong person.

If you or someone you love is facing a criminal charges case and there is DNA or forensic evidence against you, do not give up the fight. Instead, learn how to defend yourself against such evidence. Above all, ensure you protect your rights, before things start to spiral out of control. The following information explains further.

The Truth About DNA Evidence

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misdemeanor, felony, Arlington Heights Criminal Defense LawyerNo matter how minor or major the charges, nobody wants to face the consequences of breaking the law. Unfortunately, people make mistakes that can lead to serious charges.

One way to ease some of the anxiety is to understand the laws that relate to your case. Many people are unsure about the differences between the two main categories of criminal offenses: misdemeanors and felonies. The category under which your offense falls will almost certainly affect the potential severity of your penalties. Knowing what constitutes each can give you a clearer picture of whatever legal situation you may be facing.

Understanding Misdemeanors

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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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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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