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Arlington Heights criminal defense attorney expungement

If you have been convicted of a crime in Illinois, your life can change in many ways. Even if your offense was a non-violent or minor act, you will still have a criminal record that will appear on background checks. This can make it difficult to secure housing or even obtain employment. Unfortunately, an arrest or a criminal charge can also create a criminal record, even if you were not convicted or charges were not pursued. Because of this, the state of Illinois has created the process of expungement to have your criminal record cleared, essentially giving you a fresh start in the eyes of the law. Another option is sealing a record, which hides it from certain people, although it still exists. Read on to learn more about the difference between these two legal actions. 

Options For Clearing Your Record

In Illinois, there are two ways you can clear your record -- expungement or sealing. The process that you go through typically depends on the type of record you are trying to clear and its eligibility. Certain offenses and dispositions are not eligible for expungement but are eligible for sealing. The process of pursuing an expungement or sealing your criminal records is nearly identical, although the outcome is different.

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Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense attorney DUI checkpoint

Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) is a serious criminal offense that not only puts yourself in danger but risks the lives of others as well. This is why law enforcement puts so much effort into reducing the number of drivers who commit DUI. One of the techniques police officers have found that is effective in catching DUI offenders is by using sobriety checkpoints. Although the constitutionality of sobriety checkpoints has been debated, they have repeatedly been deemed legal and not in violation of the Fourth Amendment by the U.S. Supreme Court. If you are facing DUI charges as a result of being stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, it is crucial that you understand your rights.

How DUI Checkpoints Work

Law enforcement personnel are permitted to conduct sobriety checkpoints at any time or place of their choosing, but there are a few rules that they must follow in order for a checkpoint to be legal. If police plan to establish a checkpoint, they are required to inform the public of the time and place of the checkpoint. They are not allowed to conduct a checkpoint at a location where it would cause a traffic jam or put drivers in danger. They must also use signs or lights to signal to motorists that they are entering a DUI checkpoint. In addition, all police officers and vehicles must be clearly marked.

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Rolling Meadows, IL traffic crimes defense attorney

There are many different types of traffic tickets that a driver can receive in the state of Illinois. Some traffic citations are considered “fix it” tickets, or correctable offenses, such as a broken headlight. Other traffic offenses are more serious and can result in criminal charges, costly fines, and in some cases, jail time. Some people may think that just paying the fine for the ticket will make it go away, but every time you pay a traffic ticket, you are basically pleading guilty to that offense. Because certain consequences can come from pleading guilty to traffic citations, it could be more beneficial for you to fight your traffic ticket. If you have been cited for any type of traffic offense in Illinois, a traffic violations defense attorney can help you clear your record.

To Fight or Not to Fight?

For some traffic offenses, such as running a red light, it may just be better to pay the ticket, accept the guilty charge, and move on. For other traffic violations, such as aggravated speeding or DUI, it may be better to take the case to court. With this option, evidence can be presented, and in certain situations, law enforcement may have made a procedural error when issuing the ticket. 

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Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense attorney marijuana DUI

As of January 1, 2020, Illinois became the 11th state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in the United States. Even though residents and visitors who are 21 or older can legally purchase and consume cannabis, there are certain restrictions on the amount that can be bought and where it can be ingested. The increased presence of marijuana in the state has had some people wondering whether or not they can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if they are caught driving a vehicle while under the influence of cannabis. The short answer is yes.

Marijuana DUI Laws in Illinois

Under Illinois law, you can be charged with DUI if you operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, intoxicating compounds, methamphetamines, or “other drugs, including cannabis prescribed for medical purposes.” You are likely aware of the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of .08, but there is also such a limit for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in your blood when you are driving a vehicle. In Illinois, a person is considered intoxicated if they are measured as having 5 nanograms or more of THC per milliliter of blood or 10 nanograms or more per milliliter of another bodily substance.

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Arlington Heights, IL property crime defense attorney

There are multiple crimes that can fall under the category of property crime. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), property crimes include burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The latest statistics from the FBI estimate that there were nearly 7.2 million property crimes committed in the United States in 2017. In Illinois, property is defined as “anything of value,” meaning property crimes also include offenses that involve deception, fraud, plus damage and trespass to real property. Although it may seem like property crimes are not as serious as other criminal acts, they can carry significant consequences.

Burglary

If a person has knowingly or without authority entered a building, home, dwelling, motor vehicle, or aircraft with the intent to commit a felony or theft, then that person has committed burglary. There are a variety of actions that could encompass burglary, but most commonly, burglary charges stem from a person taking or attempting to take property from inside a structure. Burglary is almost always a felony charge. If you do not cause damage to property, you will be charged with a Class 3 felony, facing a possible sentence of two to five years in prison. Likewise, if damage is caused to property, charges are increased to a Class 2 felony, which carries a sentence of three to seven years in jail.

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