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IL defense lawyerIf you have been charged with sexual assault, you are likely dealing with a lot of stress and anxiety. These charges and the effect they can have on your freedom and future can be frightening. Sexual assault carries severe penalties in Illinois. A first-time offender faces a Class 1 felony offense, which is punishable with a prison term of four to 15 years. Those with a prior sexual assault conviction will face a Class X felony, which carries between six and 30 years in prison. Getting convicted of this crime can also have a detrimental effect on your professional and personal relationships.

Steps to Take If Charged with Sexual Assault

If you are facing a sexual assault charge in Illinois, it is important to take quick action. The steps you take immediately afterward can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case:

  • Do not speak to the police. Once you have been charged with sexual assault, the police may want to ask you questions about your case. However, you are under no obligation to talk to any law enforcement official. In fact, speaking to the police could make things worse for you. They may try to use what you said against you in court. Instead, tell the police that you do not want to speak to them without a lawyer.
  • Gather evidence. Having the proper evidence may help your attorney build a defense against these charges. Begin collecting as much information as you can that relates to the case, such as text messages, emails, receipts, and other records that can show where you were at the time of the incident. If you have any witnesses who can verify you were at a different location when the alleged crime took place, obtain their names and contact information.
  • Hire a lawyer. A sexual assault charge is not something you want to go through on your own. It carries severe consequences that can negatively affect your life for many years. It is important to hire a criminal lawyer who specializes in defending those accused of sexual assault. The attorney can help you build a strong defense, protect your rights, and improve your chance of a favorable outcome.

Contact an Arlington Heights, IL Criminal Lawyer

If you are facing a sexual assault charge, a dedicated Rolling Meadows, IL criminal attorney can help. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law has more than 20 years of experience defending people in legal trouble and is here to assist you. Call 847-253-3400 to schedule a free consultation.

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IL defense lawyerGetting charged with drug possession in Illinois is bad enough. Depending on the type of drugs that are in your possession, you may face jail time, hefty fines, and a permanent criminal record. However, if your drug possession charges get elevated to possession with intent to deliver, you face even harsher consequences. If you are currently in this situation, it is critical to avoid talking to the police and consult a skilled lawyer promptly.

Drug Possession Charges with an Intent to Deliver

In some cases, the police may decide to raise a regular drug possession charge to possession with intent to deliver charge. Here are a few types of evidence the police can use to prove that you intended to deliver a controlled substance:

  • The drugs are in bags
  • You have items frequently used to sell drugs in your possession, such as scales
  • You have a large amount of drugs in your possession
  • You have large amounts of cash lying around

A criminal lawyer may be able to come up with several defenses to fight your charges. For instance, you may have not known you had the drugs in your possession or the evidence against you was obtained through an illegal search.

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IL defense lawyerIf you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI), the prosecuting attorney may offer you a plea deal. A plea deal involves pleading guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for lighter penalties. For example, you may be able to plead guilty to reckless driving and avoid a drunk driving conviction. A conviction for DUI carries penalties that you may be able to avoid by pleading guilty to a lesser criminal offense, however, it is ultimately up to the prosecutor’s discretion to offer a plea deal or plea bargain. An experienced DUI defense attorney can help you understand all of your legal options and choose the course of action that is most likely to reduce the penalties you face.

Things to Think About Before Taking a Plea Deal

If you have been accused of drinking and driving, you may be tempted to accept the prosecutor’s plea deal to resolve your case as quickly as possible and get on with your life. However, it is important to remember that:

  • Your auto insurance company may raise your premiums. If you accept a plea bargain for a DUI, there is still a good chance your insurance company may increase your car insurance payments. Having a reckless driving conviction on your record can cause your payments to increase significantly.
  • If you failed a breathalyzer, your license will still be suspended even if you avoid conviction. Illinois imposes automatic administrative penalties when a driver fails a chemical blood alcohol test such as a breathalyzer. So, you may lose your license even if you avoid conviction for DUI. Losing your driving privileges can make it nearly impossible to get to work and fulfill other important responsibilities. You may have to depend on your family members and friends to drive you places until your license suspension ends.
  • You may still have a conviction on your record. Even if a prosecutor allows you to plead down to a lesser charge, a criminal conviction may still show up on background checks. This can make it more difficult to get a job or secure housing in the future.

Contact an Arlington Heights, IL DUI Attorney

If you are facing a DUI charge, consider speaking to a Rolling Meadows, IL DUI lawyer for legal guidance. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law has extensive experience handling DUI cases and may review your case and advise you on the best way to proceed. To schedule a free consultation, call 847-253-3400.

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IL DUI lawyerGetting pulled over by a police officer while you are driving can be a stressful ordeal. However, even if you believe the police officer made a mistake by making a traffic stop, it is important to remain calm and not lose your temper. If you do not keep your composure, the situation could end up escalating and instead of a potential traffic violation, you could be facing criminal charges.

Things to Avoid Saying to an Officer During a Traffic Stop

During the traffic stop, the officer will ask you for your license and registration in order to confirm your identity and conduct a background check to make sure there are no outstanding warrants or other issues. Some stops may resolve quickly, while in other situations, it may feel as if the officer is extending the stop unreasonably. No matter what the situation is, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Rude comments - Once the officer has conducted the background check, he or she may also ask you questions, such as where you are driving to or from. You are under no obligation to answer those questions, however, how you choose to answer can make a difference. Although it is not against the law to make a rude comment to a police officer, doing so could cause the officer to become more inclined to find some reason to place you under arrest. Police cannot arrest you simply for making an insulting comment, but they can claim your behavior was uncooperative or created probable cause to search your vehicle.
  • Confessions - Under no circumstances should you confess to a crime when a police officer pulls you over. For example, if a cop stops your vehicle because he or she is suspicious that you were driving under the influence of alcohol, you should not admit to anything. Even if you are guilty of the crime the officer is accusing you of, you should not give any kind of statement to the police until you have spoken with a criminal defense attorney.
  • Breathalyzer tests - If a police officer pulls you over because he or she believes you were driving drunk, you will be asked to take a breathalyzer test to measure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). There are a few factors to keep in mind before deciding to submit to that test. Illinois has an implied consent law. When you were issued a driver’s license, your acceptance meant you were consenting to submit to a breathalyzer test if requested to do so by law enforcement. While there is no law that says you must take the test, refusing to do so means an automatic summary suspension of your license, even if you are ultimately found not guilty of DUI in criminal court. A first offense is a loss of license for one year. Second and subsequent refusals are for five years. There is no right or wrong answer on whether a driver should submit to a breathalyzer test and ultimately depends on the circumstances of the traffic stop, whether the driver has been drinking, and whether the driver has any prior DUI convictions.

Contact an Arlington Heights, IL Criminal Lawyer

If you were recently pulled over and arrested by a police officer, you should speak to a Rolling Meadows, IL criminal attorney. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law will assess your case and inform you of your legal options. Call 847-253-3400 today to schedule a free consultation.

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IL defense lawyerIn Illinois, a person’s driver’s license may be revoked for several different offenses. Conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI), drag racing, aggravated fleeing and eluding police, and any felony offense involving a motor vehicle may lead to revocation of your driver’s license. If your driver’s license is revoked, you cannot drive any vehicle legally. However, you may be able to regain your driving privileges by attending a driver’s license reinstatement hearing.

Formal vs. Information Hearings

Informal driver’s license reinstatement hearings are held at various locations throughout Illinois. During an informal hearing, you will be interviewed about the reasons for the revocation, your driving record and criminal history, any drug and alcohol treatment you have attended, and the type of lifestyle changes you have made to avoid unsafe driving in the future.

Formal hearings only take place at one of the four Secretary of State locations in Illinois. A formal hearing is like a trial. The hearing officer and an attorney for the Secretary of State will place you under oath and ask you a series of questions. You will be asked to demonstrate that you have taken the steps required to avoid subsequent offenses and become a safe driver. This often includes showing evidence that you have successfully completed drug or alcohol treatment. In both formal and informal hearings, the hearing officer considers the arguments and evidence presented and makes a recommendation to the Secretary of State.

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