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Options for Avoiding Jail Time

 Posted on February 13, 2024 in Criminal Law

IL defense lawyerUnfortunately, there are cases where a term of incarceration is unavoidable. If you are facing a serious felony charge - especially a violent felony, a sex offense, or a high-level narcotics charge - you may not have any alternative to prison time. In those cases, your attorney’s role is to minimize the amount of time you would serve by presenting mitigating factors. However, in misdemeanor or even some felony cases, there are some alternatives to jail time courts may use at their discretion. If you are facing a more minor charge, like drug possession or simple assault, you may be able to avoid going to jail by agreeing to participate in a treatment program or accepting probation. In some cases, felony offenders can qualify for an impact program post-sentencing to minimize time served. An Arlington Heights, IL, criminal defense attorney can work to preserve your freedom by identifying an alternative to incarceration that would still meet the goals of the criminal justice system

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Traffic Violation or Misdemeanor Crime?

 Posted on February 06, 2024 in Traffic Violations

IL traffic lawyerThe distinction between a traffic violation and a misdemeanor offense can be confusing for people who do not work in the criminal law field. If you were pulled over by the police and given notice that you broke a law, you may wonder how serious the situation is. Traffic violations are generally somewhat minor, although they can ultimately result in a suspended license or other issues if you have enough of them. A misdemeanor traffic-related crime is a fair bit more serious. While you cannot go to jail for a simple violation, you could face some jail time for a misdemeanor offense. There are even some driving-related offenses that are considered felonies in Illinois, such as an aggravated DUI charge. Misdemeanors can carry up to a year in jail, whereas a felony can carry multiple years in prison. If you are facing any type of traffic charge, it is best to consult a qualified Arlington Heights, IL, traffic crimes attorney

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How a Defense Lawyer Can Help with a Traffic Violation

 Posted on January 27, 2024 in Traffic Violations

IL defense lawyerA traffic violation in Illinois is a serious offense, commonly resulting in points against your license, fines, and court costs. 

Even though a traffic violation may seem minor, a violation can remain on your driving record for four to five years. If the violation resulted in license suspension or revocation, the offense will remain on your record for up to seven years. 

A traffic violation can make it difficult to secure affordable car insurance. Do not let yourself be at a disadvantage for liability coverage. If you have received a traffic violation, you need an Arlington Heights traffic crimes defense attorney.

Examples of Traffic Violations

A traffic violation occurs when a motorist violates a traffic law or regulation. Traffic violations are classified as either moving or non-moving violations. Most are misdemeanors, but more serious violations may be classified as felony.

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Why You Should Not Answer Police Questions If Arrested

 Posted on January 21, 2024 in Criminal Law

IL defense lawyerA police officer is required to read your Miranda Rights if they intend to question you following your arrest.

You have the option to remain silent and to instead call your attorney. In fact, you should only provide answers if your attorney is in the room and advises you to do so.

Our Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyer would like to discuss your Fifth Amendment rights and why you should invoke your right to remain silent following an arrest.

Invoking the Fifth Amendment

The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states that the government cannot force a person to be a witness against themselves in a criminal case. 

Simply stated, no individual is required to testify regarding a crime that he or she may be connected to in some manner. Although the Fifth Amendment initially only applied to federal criminal trials, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it also applies to state criminal trials.

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Can You Get Felony Charges Reduced to a Misdemeanor?

 Posted on January 14, 2024 in Criminal Law

IL defense lawyerIn criminal cases, a prosecutor and defense attorney may negotiate a plea bargain. This allows the defendant’s charges to be reduced, possibly dropping charges and affording the offender a more lenient sentence. 

In many cases, it is possible to have a felony offense reduced to a misdemeanor. Our Arlington Heights, IL, felony defense attorney would like to discuss what felony offenses are eligible and what is involved in getting your sentence reduced.

Wobbler Crimes

Not all felony charges are eligible to be reduced to a misdemeanor charge. Only those felonies that are “wobbler” offenses have the potential for charges to be reduced to a misdemeanor. 

A “wobbler” offense is a crime that can be tried as a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances. Examples include:

Possible Consequences of Domestic Violence in Illinois

 Posted on January 07, 2024 in Domestic Violence & Orders of Protection

IL defense lawyerBeing charged with domestic violence can be an overwhelming and distressing experience. In the state of Illinois, domestic violence is taken very seriously, and the consequences can be severe. It is crucial to understand the potential ramifications of a domestic violence charge and the importance of seeking legal guidance. 

If you are facing domestic violence charges, contact an Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyer from Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law for a free consultation.

What is Domestic Violence in Illinois?

In Illinois, domestic violence refers to a pattern of abusive behavior, whether physical, emotional, or financial, committed by a family or household member against another family or household member. The law defines family or household members as spouses, former spouses, parents, children, stepchildren, and individuals who currently or previously have lived together.

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Sex Offender Registration in Illinois

 Posted on December 27, 2023 in Sex Crimes

Blog ImageIf you have been convicted of a sex crime, you will likely be required to register as a sex offender. Depending on your offense, you may be listed on the sex offender registry for ten years or for life

There are a number of crimes that require registration on the sex offender list. If you have been arrested for a sex crime, do not hesitate to contact an Arlington Heights sex crimes defense attorney as soon as possible.

What is the Sex Offender Registry?

The sex offender registry is a system for monitoring offenders who have been released from jail. The registry is designed to keep community members safe by informing them of who is living in their community.

A sex offender registry lists the full name, current address, physical appearance, and a comprehensive list of their criminal history. You can find a list of sex offenders on the National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW)

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DUI Charges for Commercial Drivers

 Posted on December 16, 2023 in DUI

IL defense lawyerAcross the United States, drivers with standard driving licenses must maintain a blood alcohol content (BAC) below 0.08 percent. The standard is higher for commercial drivers, who, along with having to pass rigorous testing to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL), are also legally required to have a BAC below 0.04 percent.

If you have been charged with a DUI, you will want to do everything in your power to avoid a conviction. That begins with reaching out to an experienced Arlington Heights DUI defense lawyer to defend you.

Legal BAC for a Commercial Driver

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Illinois law state that a commercial driver has committed a violation if the individual has a BAC of 0.04 percent or higher while operating a commercial motor vehicle.  

Testing may be performed by taking a blood, urine, or breath sample. Be aware that, under the law, driving under the influence does not just include alcohol. You can be charged for driving under the influence if you have smoked marijuana, methamphetamine, or other illicit drugs. Any of these substances have the potential to impair your driving.

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Can You Drive to Work After a DUI?

 Posted on December 08, 2023 in DUI

IL defense lawyerIn Illinois, you will be convicted for driving under the influence (DUI) if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08g/dL or higher through chemical testing or if you refuse testing. You can be convicted for a DUI if your BAC is between 0.05 g/dL and 0.08 g/dL if you are showing signs of impairment. The revocation of your driving privileges will happen through the Secretary of State, in what is known as statutory summary suspension.

If you are convicted of a DUI, you will have your license revoked for one year. However, you may qualify to get a Restricted Driving Permit if you meet certain criteria. An RDP will allow you to still drive to work following your DUI.

If you have been arrested or charged with a DUI, you need the assistance of an Arlington Heights DUI defense lawyer to represent your interests in court. 

What is a Restricted Driving Permit?

A restricted driving permit, or RDP, allows a person to drive on a limited basis following a license suspension. The individual will be given a permit, which will specify under what parameters he or she can drive.

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Aggravating Factors in Illinois DUI Cases

 Posted on November 30, 2023 in DUI

Il defense lawyerDriving under the influence is a serious matter in Illinois. With the average cost of a DUI conviction in Illinois costing over $18,000, an offender may have to pay a steep fine and face losing certain civil rights.

Penalties for a DUI can vary based on whether the driver was transporting children, if the driver had any prior offenses if your blood alcohol content is excessively elevated, and if anybody was injured.

Aggravating factors can result in your DUI being charged as a felony, also increasing jail time and potential fines. If you are facing aggravated DUI charges, you need to speak with an Arlington Heights DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible.

What is an Aggravated DUI?

An aggravated DUI is a DUI charge with the presence of aggravating factors. Aggravating factors in a DUI may include, but are not restricted to:

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