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IL defense lawyerCountries around the world vary when it comes to the legal drinking age. In some countries, such as Germany, the legal drinking age is 16. In other countries -- around 61 percent of countries around the globe -- have a legal drinking age of 18 or 19 years old. The legal drinking age for anyone in any of the 50 states is 21. If a minor is caught drinking before they are 21, they face possible criminal charges, a driver’s license suspension or revocation, and expensive fines. In Illinois, an adult who furnishes alcohol to a minor or allows minors to drink on their property can also face criminal charges.

Illinois’ “Social Host” Law

Despite years of bringing attention to the dangers of underage drinking and advocating against it, plenty of teens still consume alcohol across the country. The majority of alcohol consumption by minors is done at home in social settings. However, parents are not permitted to allow minors to drink. This “social host” law was put into effect in 2013 and prohibits parents from knowingly allowing their child or other minors to consume alcohol, even in a private residence. Parents who break this law face a Class A misdemeanor charge, which is the most serious of misdemeanors. For a Class A misdemeanor, you face up to one year in jail, a minimum fine of $500, and the possibility of up to $2,500 in fines.

If the parent knowingly allows minors to consume alcohol on their property and anyone suffers a great bodily injury or death, the parent can be charged with a Class 4 felony. This means that you could face between one and three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.

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IL defense lawyerIn today’s world of electronics, credit card fraud is easier than ever for people to accomplish. According to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) yearly report, more than 4.7 million consumer issues were reported to the Commission in 2020, with the most commonly reported issue being identity theft. Credit card fraud is a type of identity theft and is one of the most frequently reported types of identity theft, making up about 30 percent of all identity theft reports to the FTC. Most people understand what consequences come from a credit card fraud situation, but many are not aware that there are multiple ways a person can be charged with credit card fraud.

Types of Credit Card Fraud

There is more than one way you can be charged with credit card fraud in the state of Illinois. According to the Code of Corrections, credit card fraud includes:

  • Making false statements to get a credit card. This would consist of applying for a credit card with information that is incorrect or not your own. This could also include any information that credit card companies use to make decisions on issuing cards, including your income, address, or place of employment. A conviction for false statements is a Class 4 felony, which could result in up to $25,000 in fines or one to three years in prison.
  • Possessing someone else’s credit card. You can be charged with a Class 4 felony for possessing a credit card that was taken out of the possession of its owner, or even given to you by its owner if you intend to commit fraud with it.
  • Selling a credit card to someone else. It is illegal for anyone to sell or purchase a credit card without the cardholder’s permission. If you are convicted, you face a Class 4 felony.
  • Using an invalid credit card. It is illegal for a person to use a counterfeited, forged, expired, or revoked credit card with the intent of defrauding the issuer or merchant. If the total value of any goods obtained with the credit card is less than $300, you face a Class 4 felony. If the total value of the goods acquired with the credit card is more than $300, you face Class 3 felony charges, which come with a possible two- to five-year prison sentence and up to $25,000 in fines.
  • Altering or counterfeiting a credit card. Not only does credit card fraud cover those who use invalid credit cards, but it also includes those who make the fraud possible. Anyone who is caught altering or creating a fake credit card is guilty of fraud. Modifying an existing credit card is considered to be a Class 4 felony while counterfeiting a credit card will result in a Class 3 felony.

Our Rolling Meadows, IL Credit Card Fraud Defense Attorney is Here

Being accused of credit card fraud can carry severe consequences, especially if the total losses incurred from the fraud total enough to warrant a felony charge. If you are facing credit card fraud charges, you should speak with our Arlington Heights, IL credit card fraud defense lawyer. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law, has more than 20 years of experience helping clients who are in legal trouble. To schedule a time to speak with our attorney, call our office today at 847-253-3400 to schedule a free consultation.

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IL defense lawyerIf you have ever watched a movie or TV show dealing with the subject of crime, chances are you have heard someone try to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, which is also sometimes shortened to simply “pleading insanity.” This is often an easy subject to dramatize, making it a prime subject for show business, but this idea actually also has legitimate merit in the legal world, though under specific circumstances. In some situations, pleading not guilty by reason of insanity is a possible way a person could be held not criminally responsible for a crime, but only if they meet certain requirements.

Insanity in Illinois

According to Illinois law, a person cannot be held criminally responsible for a crime if they are unaware of the illegal nature of their actions because of a “mental disease or mental defect.” Insanity is an admissible defense if the defense team can prove that a person meets the state’s requirements for “mental disease or mental defect.” Different states have slightly different ways of determining whether or not a person meets the standards, but Illinois follows the requirements set forth by the American Law Institute in the Model Penal Code. These standards state that a person cannot use the insanity defense unless they:

  • Have a qualifying mental disease or mental defect
  • The mental disease or mental defect caused the person to be unable to appreciate that what he or she did was illegal

Consequences of an Insanity Plea

Once you make the petition for insanity, you will then have to attend a hearing to determine whether or not the petition will be granted. If your defense team is able to successfully prove an insanity plea, then it will be determined whether or not you will ever be fit to stand trial for the crime. In either case, you will be sentenced to treatment in a mental health facility and could remain there for all or a portion of your sentence. There is also a possibility that the treatment ordered at the mental health facility lasts longer than your sentence would have.

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IL DUI lawyerOne of the tools that the state of Illinois uses to find and deter those who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is by conducting sobriety checkpoints. The Supreme Court of the United States has held that sobriety checkpoints do not inherently violate any constitutional rights, as long as they are conducted in a legal manner. In Illinois, this means the time, date and location of the sobriety checkpoint should be announced to the public prior to it taking place and signs and/or lights should be used to designate the checkpoints. Being pulled over for DUI can have a significant impact on your life, which is why it is important to understand that you do have rights when you are stopped at a sobriety checkpoint in Illinois.

You Have the Right to Turn Around and Avoid the Checkpoint

The first thing you should understand is that you are not required to go through the sobriety checkpoint. Police officers are required to clearly mark DUI checkpoints and make them visible to drivers. If you see a DUI checkpoint coming up and you do not wish to go through it, you are legally permitted to avoid the checkpoint, as long as you can do so safely without breaking any laws. However, you should be aware that nearby officers may be watching for drivers who avoid the checkpoint and may pull you over for doing so.

You Have the Right to Avoid Answering Questions

One of the first things an officer does after pulling you over is try to gather probable cause for an arrest. Just like any other traffic stop, you have the right to remain silent. The only information and documents you are legally required to furnish when asked is your driver’s license, your vehicle registration and your proof of insurance. Probable cause can also be established by sight or smell, so you can choose to keep your windows rolled up and refuse to speak with the officer, however, you must also understand that if the officer requests that you step out of the vehicle, you must adhere to the order.

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IL defense lawyerSince its inception, the United States has done things a little differently. When it comes to gun laws, the country as a whole is unique. The inherent right to gun ownership is written into the country’s constitution, though each individual state has the right to regulate the possession, use, sale, purchase, and/or transfer of firearms within their boundaries. While some states are laxer with their firearm laws, the state of Illinois tends to have rather strict laws concerning firearms. In particular, not everyone is legally permitted to own a firearm in the state of Illinois. Being caught in possession of a firearm when you are not legally supposed to have one can lead to serious consequences that require representation from a skilled Illinois criminal defense attorney.

FOID Cards and Ineligibility

Though not all states have the same requirements, the state of Illinois requires everyone in possession of a firearm to have a valid firearm owner’s identification (FOID) card to be in legal possession of that firearm. To be eligible to receive a FOID card, you must meet certain requirements, as there are certain things that can make you ineligible for ownership, both on the state and federal level. In general, a person is ineligible for a FOID card if they:

  • Are not yet 21 years old, or do not have a parent or legal guardian sponsor who is eligible for a FOID card
  • Are not a resident of the state of Illinois
  • Have been convicted of a felony
  • Are addicted to narcotics
  • Have been a patient in a mental health facility in the past five years
  • Have been a patient in a mental health facility more than five years ago, but have failed to receive a mental health certification
  • Have been involuntarily committed into a mental health facility
  • Are intellectually or developmentally disabled
  • Have been adjudicated as a mentally disabled person
  • Are an illegal alien in the United States
  • Are subject to an existing order of protection
  • Have been convicted within the past five years of battery, assault, aggravated assault, or violation of an order of protection in which a firearm was used or possessed
  • Have been convicted of domestic battery
  • Have been dishonorably discharged from the U.S. military

Speak to Our Rolling Meadows, IL Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Though it is written into our constitution that we have the right to bear arms, that right is treated more like a privilege that can be revoked if it is deemed necessary. In some circumstances, you may be found ineligible to own or continue to own firearms in Illinois, in which case, you must surrender them or face consequences for illegal ownership. Gun crimes are taken very seriously in Illinois, which is why having a skilled Arlington Heights, IL criminal defense attorney on your side is a good idea. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law will put his experience to use to get you the best outcome possible. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 847-253-3400.

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