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IL defense lawyerRelations between law enforcement and the country’s citizens have been rocky because of various and multiple events that have been portrayed in the media. In many cases, police have overstepped the boundaries in place that protect a person’s constitutional rights. One common right that is often violated during traffic stops is the right against unreasonable searches and seizures. In most cases, a police officer must have a warrant to search your vehicle, just as if they were intending to search your home. However, there are certain exceptions that would allow officers to legally search your vehicle without a warrant and obtain evidence that may result in a criminal charge.

You Consent to the Search

The easiest way officers can legally search your vehicle without a warrant is simply by gaining your permission to search your vehicle. In most cases, the officer will ask you if he or she can search your vehicle before they resort to telling you that they are going to search it. You do not have to consent to a warrantless search. However, if you do not consent to a vehicle search, the officers will likely still proceed with the search under one of these other two circumstances.

The Evidence Was in Plain View

Officers have the right to search your vehicle if they see something that is considered to be in “plain view.” This means that whatever the officer sees must be able to be viewed from a place that the officer has a right to be and the incriminating nature of the item must be apparent.

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IL defense lawyerGoing through the criminal process can be a life-changing experience. Not only do you face penalties for whatever conviction you received, but you also face lasting effects when you begin to reintroduce yourself into society. Many people who have been convicted of a crime have difficulty finding employment or even a place to live. Fortunately, Illinois allows certain offenses to be sealed or expunged from a person’s record under certain circumstances, preventing the general public from viewing these documents. There are differences to the expungement and sealing process, so you should be aware of those before you decide which process to proceed with.

Record Expungement

For your criminal record to be eligible for expungement, there are certain requirements that it must meet. In Illinois, arrests for any felony or misdemeanor charge can be expunged if those arrests did not lead to a conviction. If you were convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, that record can only be expunged if your conviction was reversed or vacated, or you were pardoned by the governor of the state. You may also be able to have sentences of court supervision expunged from your record, as long as it has been at least two years since the completion of the sentence. If the sentence of court supervision was imposed for domestic battery, criminal sexual abuse, operating an uninsured vehicle, operating a vehicle with a revoked registration, or displaying a false insurance card, it must be at least five years after the sentence is completed to expunge the record.

Sealing Your Record

If your record is not eligible for expungement, it may be eligible to be sealed, which can still help. Arrests for misdemeanor and felony convictions can be sealed at any time. Most convictions for most felonies and misdemeanor crimes are eligible to be sealed if at least three years have passed since the sentence was completed. It is important to note that not all convictions can be sealed. For example, you cannot seal a conviction for DUI, reckless driving, domestic battery, violating an order of protection, or any sexual offense.

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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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