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Responding to a False Criminal Charge - Part 1

 Posted on September 09, 2022 in Criminal Law

arlington heights criminal defense lawyerAs much as we would like to think that only guilty people get arrested and wind up charged with a crime, this is very much not the case. Every year, a significant number of innocent people find themselves having to plead “not guilty” at arraignment because they really did not commit the crime they are charged with - at least not knowingly. This can be a terrifying situation to be in. We have all seen documentaries about people who spent decades in prison only to be exonerated. Of course, most false charges are far less serious than homicide. Domestic violence, theft, and drug possession are very common crimes that people in Illinois must fend off erroneous accusations. If you have found yourself charged with a crime that you did not commit, it is critical that you find a tough criminal defense attorney to protect your freedom and reputation. 

Why do These False Arrests Happen?

The decision to arrest is typically made on the spot by police officers, who are human and make mistakes. Often, innocent people are arrested simply because the police walked into a situation they did not understand. Common reasons that people get charged with crimes they did not commit include: 

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What Counts as a "Vehicle" Under Illinois' DUI Laws?

 Posted on August 27, 2022 in DUI

IL defense lawyerIn Illinois, our driving under the influence laws say that it is illegal to operate a vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. Clearly, your car is a vehicle, as is your family’s SUV. A big rig is very clearly a vehicle, and CDL holders may be in even more trouble for drunk-driving one. However, there is still room for debate and confusion about what else constitutes a “vehicle.” Is your bicycle a vehicle? Will you get in trouble for drunk riding your bike home from the bar to avoid driving? What if your bicycle is electric and you do not have to pedal it? These are the types of questions you need answers to before you hop on any device meant to transport you while you are impaired by alcohol or drugs like cannabis. If you do find yourself charged with a DUI on an unusual vehicle, our attorneys can help you fight the charge.

Defining a “Vehicle” for Purposes of Illinois’ DUI Laws

In Illinois, the definition of a “vehicle” is somewhat broad. For purposes of determining whether you could get charged with a DUI for driving or riding it while intoxicated, the determining factor is what powers the vehicle. A “vehicle” is anything designed to transport a person or people, and that is not solely human-powered.

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Is There a Diversion Program for Drug Crime Defendants?

 Posted on August 19, 2022 in Drug Crimes

IL defense lawyerDrug crimes - even simple possession - are very serious in Illinois. If you were caught with drugs other than cannabis, you are most likely looking at a felony charge. Even if you have never been in trouble with the law before, you could be convicted of a felony and sent to prison for drug possession. Most individuals who are caught with small amounts of illicit substances for personal use are not big-time dealers or traffickers - they are average people. Illinois courts recognize that people make mistakes and that not everyone caught with drugs is a serious or routine offender. To help prevent small-time occasional drug users from becoming felons, Illinois does have a type of diversion program. Our lawyers can tell you more about how this program can help you avoid a conviction.

Section 410 Probation for Certain Drug Crimes

First-time drug offenders may be eligible for Section 410 probation. First, you must plead guilty to the drug possession - however, the court will not enter a guilty verdict at this time. Instead, you will be ordered to complete Section 410 probation. If you fulfill all the requirements of Section 410 probation, then the charge will be dismissed entirely and your record will be clean.

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The "Collateral Consequences" of a Domestic Violence Charge

 Posted on August 13, 2022 in Domestic Violence & Orders of Protection

IL criminal lawyerBeing a Class A Misdemeanor, a domestic violence conviction can get you tossed in the county jail for up to a year. That is one example of a judicial consequence - a sentence for a crime you have been convicted of. “Collateral consequences” are the things that can happen to you because of a domestic violence conviction other than the sentence imposed by the court. Things like losing your job and getting evicted are collateral consequences. The judge did not order your boss to fire you or tell your landlord to kick you out, but things like this happen anyway. When it comes to domestic violence - a heavily stigmatized crime - many people find the collateral consequences just as bad as if not worse than the judicial consequences. If you have been charged with domestic violence, you will need a strong legal defense team to protect you.

What Problems Might I Face After a Domestic Violence Conviction?

The collateral consequences of a domestic violence conviction can include:

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Understanding Public Indecency Laws in Illinois

 Posted on August 04, 2022 in Sex Crimes

IL defense lawyerAs far as sexually-oriented offenses go, public indecency is on the less serious end of the spectrum. Often any sexual activity involved is between consenting adults, and aside from offended bystanders, there is no real victim. That said, public indecency is still a fairly serious charge. In most cases, it is a Class A Misdemeanor, the most serious category before getting into felonies. If convicted, you could face up to a year in jail or a $2,500 fine. Not to mention, you could have to register as a sex offender. The penalties actually imposed often depend very much on the specific facts of your case. There are steps an attorney can take to protect you from the harshest consequences or to challenge the charge in court. Illinois’ public indecency laws can be vague, so there is room for an attorney to make good arguments.

Explaining Public Indecency Laws, Arrests, and Potential for Conviction

Some laws are very clear-cut. If you are driving with a B.A.C. higher than 0.08, you are guilty of a DUI - simple. Public indecency laws in Illinois are not like that at all. Our state statute sets out public indecency laws so that a person is guilty of public indecency if they are over 17 years old and in a public place, they:

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What Are the Criminal Penalties for Manufacturing Methamphetamine in Illinois?

 Posted on July 28, 2022 in Drug Crimes

Arlington Heights Criminal Defense LawyerDrug crimes vary more than any other type of criminal offense In terms of jail sentences and other criminal penalties. The amount of jail time a person faces for a drug-related crime depends on the type of drug, the amount of the substance, and whether the person was accused of manufacturing or selling the drug as opposed to merely possessing the drug. Most people accused of a drug offense are overwhelmed and confused. They are unsure of what their rights are and what penalties they may face.

Manufacturing methamphetamine or “meth” is a felony offense in Illinois.

If you or a loved one were accused of operating a “meth lab” or otherwise manufacturing methamphetamine, the first step is to seek personalized advice from a criminal defense lawyer. Your attorney can answer all of your questions and provide legal guidance specific to your situation.

Producing, Preparing, or Creating Methamphetamine  

The Illinois Controlled Substances Act prohibits the manufacture, production, propagation, or processing of a controlled substance. Manufacture of methamphetamine is considered an especially egregious crime because the substance is so dangerous. Homemade laboratories used to “cook” meth are also at risk of exploding, causing catastrophic or fatal injuries to others. For these reasons, manufacture of any amount of methamphetamine is considered a felony criminal offense in Illinois.

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What You Need to Know About Speeding in a Construction Zone Tickets

 Posted on July 21, 2022 in Traffic Violations

Arlington Heights Traffic Violations LawyerIf you live in the Chicago area, you know that road construction is a constant concern. Because the chances of accidents are so much higher in construction zones, these areas are often subject to reduced speed limits. Illinois penalizes speeding in construction zones especially harshly. If you or a loved one were cited for speeding in a construction zone, a traffic law attorney may be able to help.

Driving Above the Speed Limit When There is a Construction Project

Construction projects may force drivers to drive in narrow lanes and dodge cones, construction workers, and machinery. Consequently, the maximum speed at which drivers can drive is often reduced in these areas. The penalties for speeding are also enhanced. In Illinois, speeding in a construction zone is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000. However, if you are caught speeding in a construction zone a second time within a two-year period and construction workers are present, you face a 90-day driver’s license suspension in addition to fines.

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Can I Hide a Felony Conviction from Employers or Landlords?

 Posted on July 14, 2022 in Criminal Law

Arlington Heights Criminal Defense AttorneyIf you were convicted of a criminal offense, you know just how much a criminal conviction can influence your life. Criminal records are often available to the general public, which means that your friends, family members, and neighbors can view the record if they want to. Furthermore, potential landlords and apartment complexes may review criminal records before leasing a house or apartment to someone. If you have a felony conviction on your record, this may prevent you from securing suitable housing. Employers may also review candidates’ criminal records through a background check before offering a job. It can be difficult to impossible to be hired if you have certain convictions on your record.

Fortunately, some people are able to hide their criminal records from most employers, landlords, lenders, and the general public by sealing their criminal records.

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5 Issues With Blood Alcohol Tests That May Help You Receive an Acquittal

 Posted on July 06, 2022 in DUI

Arlington Heights DUI Defense LawyerBeing accused of drunk driving already results in automatic administrative consequences, including suspension of your driver’s license. However, a drunk driving conviction has consequences that can threaten your freedom and significantly impact your future. Criminal and administrative penalties for driving under the influence depend on your past criminal history, driving record, and the circumstances of the drunk driving arrest. You could face heavy fines and substantial jail time.

If you or a loved one were arrested for DUI, it is important to understand your defense options. One potential DUI defense strategy is to question the veracity of the blood alcohol test results. Various problems can interfere with the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) testing process. If a blood test is not verifiable, it may be difficult to impossible for the prosecution to secure a conviction.

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3 Steps to Take If You Were Accused of a Sex Crime in Arlington Heights

 Posted on June 28, 2022 in Sex Crimes

Arlington Heights Sexual Assault Defense LawyerSex offenses are considered especially morally reprehensible. Allegations of sexual assault, sex abuse, rape, or a related crime can destroy a person’s life. Criminal penalties for sex crimes are harsh, and many people find that being convicted of a sex offense has irreparable personal and professional consequences.

If you or someone you care about have been accused of a sex crime, do not wait to take action. Even if the accusation is unsubstantiated, being charged with a sex offense can have serious consequences. Contact a lawyer right away.

Avoid Contact With Your Accuser

Being accused of a sex crime can come as a shock. If you are like many people facing such a situation, you probably want to confront the person who levied the allegations against you. You may be confused about what is happening and are filled with questions. You may be eager to stand up for yourself, tell your side of the story, and clear your name. However, confronting your accuser can be disastrous. Even if you approach the person in a reasonable, non-threatening way, he or she may accuse you of further abuse, stalking, or harassment. You could even be subject to an emergency order of protection or other protective order and not realize it. Consequently, it is best to avoid the accuser and only discuss the situation with your attorney.  

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