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IL criminal lawyerBeing a Class A Misdemeanor, a domestic violence conviction can get you tossed in the county jail for up to a year. That is one example of a judicial consequence - a sentence for a crime you have been convicted of. “Collateral consequences” are the things that can happen to you because of a domestic violence conviction other than the sentence imposed by the court. Things like losing your job and getting evicted are collateral consequences. The judge did not order your boss to fire you or tell your landlord to kick you out, but things like this happen anyway. When it comes to domestic violence - a heavily stigmatized crime - many people find the collateral consequences just as bad as if not worse than the judicial consequences. If you have been charged with domestic violence, you will need a strong legal defense team to protect you.

What Problems Might I Face After a Domestic Violence Conviction?

The collateral consequences of a domestic violence conviction can include:

  • Trouble with housing - If you lived with the alleged victim when you got arrested, you were probably served with a protection order that prevents you from going home. Yes, simply being arrested for domestic violence can make you immediately homeless, so you might be scrambling to find housing right now. Landlords may be very reluctant to accept a tenant with a domestic violence charge. True or not, potential landlords may assume you are a violent person and will cause trouble.
  • Reputation damage - You will be judged, both socially and professionally, if you are convicted of domestic violence. Some of your friends may no longer want anything to do with you, especially if you and the alleged victim had a lot of mutual friends - who are likely to side with them. You may find yourself feeling socially isolated and ostracized.
  • Professional licensing - Domestic violence is an automatic or near-automatic disqualifier for most professional licenses. Nurses, teachers, and more may be stripped of their licenses.
  • Difficulty with employment - Prepare to lose your current job. Many people do. Unless you are already in a line of work that frequently accepts people with criminal records, you might quickly find yourself without a job. Finding a new one can be difficult.

Even being accused of domestic violence can do significant damage to your life. A strong legal defense can mitigate any potential issues, and in some cases, can even clear your name.

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IL defense lawyerAs far as sexually-oriented offenses go, public indecency is on the less serious end of the spectrum. Often any sexual activity involved is between consenting adults, and aside from offended bystanders, there is no real victim. That said, public indecency is still a fairly serious charge. In most cases, it is a Class A Misdemeanor, the most serious category before getting into felonies. If convicted, you could face up to a year in jail or a $2,500 fine. Not to mention, you could have to register as a sex offender. The penalties actually imposed often depend very much on the specific facts of your case. There are steps an attorney can take to protect you from the harshest consequences or to challenge the charge in court. Illinois’ public indecency laws can be vague, so there is room for an attorney to make good arguments.

Explaining Public Indecency Laws, Arrests, and Potential for Conviction

Some laws are very clear-cut. If you are driving with a B.A.C. higher than 0.08, you are guilty of a DUI - simple. Public indecency laws in Illinois are not like that at all. Our state statute sets out public indecency laws so that a person is guilty of public indecency if they are over 17 years old and in a public place, they:

  • Engaged in an act of sexual penetration or other sexual conduct, or,
  • Lewdly exposed their body for the purpose of arousing or satisfying their own sexual desire.

As you can see, there is room for interpretation here. Quite a bit is left up to each individual police officer’s discretion. One may feel that a couple who is fully clothed but tangled up in a heavy make-out session is “engaged in sexual conduct,” while another might not think twice about it. Now, if a couple is found having sexual intercourse in a public park, that is a fairly clear-cut example of public indecency.

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Arlington Heights Criminal Defense LawyerDrug crimes vary more than any other type of criminal offense In terms of jail sentences and other criminal penalties. The amount of jail time a person faces for a drug-related crime depends on the type of drug, the amount of the substance, and whether the person was accused of manufacturing or selling the drug as opposed to merely possessing the drug. Most people accused of a drug offense are overwhelmed and confused. They are unsure of what their rights are and what penalties they may face.

Manufacturing methamphetamine or “meth” is a felony offense in Illinois.

If you or a loved one were accused of operating a “meth lab” or otherwise manufacturing methamphetamine, the first step is to seek personalized advice from a criminal defense lawyer. Your attorney can answer all of your questions and provide legal guidance specific to your situation.

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Arlington Heights Traffic Violations LawyerIf you live in the Chicago area, you know that road construction is a constant concern. Because the chances of accidents are so much higher in construction zones, these areas are often subject to reduced speed limits. Illinois penalizes speeding in construction zones especially harshly. If you or a loved one were cited for speeding in a construction zone, a traffic law attorney may be able to help.

Driving Above the Speed Limit When There is a Construction Project

Construction projects may force drivers to drive in narrow lanes and dodge cones, construction workers, and machinery. Consequently, the maximum speed at which drivers can drive is often reduced in these areas. The penalties for speeding are also enhanced. In Illinois, speeding in a construction zone is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000. However, if you are caught speeding in a construction zone a second time within a two-year period and construction workers are present, you face a 90-day driver’s license suspension in addition to fines.

Driving 26-35 mph over the speed limit in a construction zone is considered aggravated speeding. This is a Class B misdemeanor criminal offense punishable by up to six months in jail and heavy fines. If the driver is driving more than 35 mph above the speed limit in a construction zone, this can lead to Class A misdemeanor charges and up to a year in jail.

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Arlington Heights Criminal Defense AttorneyIf you were convicted of a criminal offense, you know just how much a criminal conviction can influence your life. Criminal records are often available to the general public, which means that your friends, family members, and neighbors can view the record if they want to. Furthermore, potential landlords and apartment complexes may review criminal records before leasing a house or apartment to someone. If you have a felony conviction on your record, this may prevent you from securing suitable housing. Employers may also review candidates’ criminal records through a background check before offering a job. It can be difficult to impossible to be hired if you have certain convictions on your record.

Fortunately, some people are able to hide their criminal records from most employers, landlords, lenders, and the general public by sealing their criminal records.

Record Sealing and Expungement in Illinois

Record expungement is the process of erasing a criminal record completely. If you were arrested but never criminally charged, found “not guilty” of the charges, or the charges were dismissed, you may qualify for expungement.

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