Blog

Call today for a free consultation

Call Us

773-276-5541

1231 N. Ashland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622

Recent blog posts

Posted on in Theft

Il defense lawyerOftentimes people will use the terms theft, robbery, and burglary interchangeably, though under the law, these terms have very different meanings and each contains different consequences. These crimes all include a person taking or attempting to take property from another person, but the elements of these crimes differ, as well as the consequences for committing them. Theft is a general term used when property is stolen from a person without the intention to return it. If you are being charged with a theft crime, it is important to know what you are being charged with and the penalties that you face.

What Constitutes Theft?

Theft is a broad term that can cover a variety of crimes. Theft encompasses any crime in which a person takes property from another person without the intention of returning it. In the state of Illinois, a person commits theft when they:

...

IL defense lawyerBeing accused of a sex crime can be stressful and emotionally tolling for you, your friends and your family. Whether the accusation is true or not, being accused of a sex crime can not only cause problems between relationships with people in your life, but it can also cause problems at work or getting future jobs. Understanding common defenses to sex crimes can prepare you if you are facing these types of charges.

Innocence

One of the most common defenses to sex crimes is innocence, meaning that you are pleading that you did not commit the crime. This is perhaps the most basic defense in sexual assault cases. The defendant can argue that they couldn’t have committed the crime because they were in a different place at the time the crime was committed. This is called an alibi and must be supported by credible evidence that they could not have possibly committed the crime.

...

Illinois defense lawyerA person does not need to have physical drugs on their person to be charged with a drug-related crime. If an individual is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, they may face a fine of up to $2,500 and a misdemeanor charge for a conviction in the state of Illinois. In order to avoid this outcome, a person must know what drug paraphernalia is and what the laws are surrounding it.

What Is Drug Paraphernalia?

Drug paraphernalia can include any item that can be used to inhale or ingest an illegal substance such as pipes, bongs, or cocaine spoons or vials. It also includes kits that can be used in the production of drugs, devices, and equipment that can be used to increase the strength of a controlled substance, adulterants, and diluents, or substances that can alter the potency of a drug.

...

Illinois defense lawyerCredit card fraud can take many different forms, and can even occur by accident. Penalties for being convicted of credit card fraud are serious, and can result in a misdemeanor or felony charge. Four common types of credit card fraud allegations include:

1) Failure to Obtain Consent of Cardholder

A cardholder must authorize use of the card by another person. This authorization can be either written or verbal. A cardholder can also designate an authorized user for their card, by including their name on the credit card account. Once the cardholder has formally authorized someone to use their credit card, the owner is responsible for any charges the authorized user incurs.

...

Illinois drug lawyerA study conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that one in four people, between the ages of 18 to 20, had used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes one or more times in their lives. Prescription stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin are one of the most commonly abused types of medication. Students may overestimate the benefits of using prescription stimulants and underestimate the risks, which can lead to negative consequences for the student’s health and personal life.

Reasons Behind Drug Use

College students may believe that using prescription drugs will enhance their academic performance, but research has shown that this may not be the case. In fact, studies have found that college students who misuse prescription stimulant medication received lower grades than their peers.

...

Posted on in DUI Defense

Illinois DUI attorneyAn ignition interlock device (also sometimes referred to as an “IID” or a “breath alcohol ignition interlock device” (BAIID)) is a tool that can be installed in an auto that prevents the vehicle from turning on if the driver’s breath alcohol concentration (BAC) is higher than a certain pre-programmed level. If an ignition interlock device is installed on your vehicle then you must blow into the attached breathalyzer before you drive. If no alcohol (or a permissible amount of alcohol) is detected on your breath then your car will start as usual, however, if you fail the breathalyzer test then your vehicle will be locked for a predetermined amount of time (generally the vehicle’s ignition will be locked for a few minutes after the first failed test and will be locked for a longer period of time if a second or subsequent breath test is failed). Additionally, some ignition interlock devices also require drivers to submit to random re-testing while driving.

Ignition Interlock Devices in Illinois

Here in Illinois, anyone who is convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on any vehicle that they wish to operate as a condition of having their driving privileges restored. The penalties associated with driving without an ignition interlock device when required to have one can be extremely steep in Illinois. In fact, LifeSafer.com notes that driving without an ignition interlock device in Illinois is a Class 4 felony offense that is punishable by imprisonment for up to three years and payment of a fine of up to $25,000.

...

Illinois drug attorneyEvery year, around 10,000 people in the United States are killed in car accidents involving a driver who was under the influence of alcohol. In recent decades, law enforcement agencies have increased their efforts to combat drunk driving, and they are now looking to enforce laws against driving while under the influence of illegal drugs.

In 2015, the number of drivers who tested positive for drugs after being involved in a fatal accident was greater than the number of drivers who tested positive for alcohol. As more states legalize marijuana, and more people across the country abuse prescription drugs, opioids, and methamphetamine, police are looking to implement new tests that will allow them to make DUI arrests when drivers are under the influence of drugs.

Testing for Drugs

...

Illinois drug lawsWhile the possession of marijuana is a criminal offense throughout much of the United States, its use is widespread, and support for marijuana legalization is growing. Currently, the recreational use of marijuana is legal in eight states and the District of Columbia, and 64% of Americans support legalization. As several other states consider ballot referendums or legislation to legalize marijuana, Illinois residents are wondering if our state may be the next in line to make this change.

Current Illinois Marijuana Laws

In 2016, Illinois passed a law decriminalizing the possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana. While possession of marijuana is still considered illegal, anyone caught in possession of less than 10 grams will not be charged with a criminal offense; instead, they will face a civil fine of $100 to $200. Possession of more than 10 grams is a criminal offense ranging from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class 1 felony, depending on the amount of marijuana.

...

Illinois gun charge attorneyMass shootings occur with alarming regularity in the United States, and the most recent incident, in which a gunman opened fire on a crowd in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017, resulted in 58 deaths and 546 injuries. In the aftermath of this tragedy, debate about gun laws and gun control has resumed, and politicians and pundits have brought up a familiar talking point, stating that the city of Chicago has strict gun laws, but also a high rate of homicides. But while this is something that is often asserted, is it actually true?

In order to clear up confusion about this issue and provide some context about the weapons charges people may face, here is some information about the laws concerning gun ownership in Chicago and the state of Illinois:

Weapons Licenses

...

illinois defense attorneyBeing arrested and charged with a crime will have major, long-lasting effects on anyone’s life. When someone enters the criminal justice system, their criminal record can follow them for the rest of their life. In Illinois, nearly 50 percent of ex-offenders end up back in prison within three years due to their inability to find work.

After someone has been convicted of criminal charges and served their sentence, they may be able to have their criminal record sealed, which will improve their ability to find jobs, education, and housing. Unfortunately, the process of sealing these records is often difficult, but the state of Illinois is working to implement criminal justice reforms to address this issue.

New Illinois Criminal Justice Laws

...

Illinois defense attorneyOn August 11, 2017, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed a new law eliminating the statute of limitations for felony sexual assault and sexual abuse crime against children. This law went into effect immediately, and officials praised the law, stating that will make it easier to prosecute these crimes.

Changes under the New Law

Prior to the passage of this law, Illinois statutes required sexual offenses against children to be reported and prosecuted within 20 years of the child’s 18th birthday. The new law eliminates that statute of limitations altogether, and it applies to any future crimes or existing crimes for which the statute of limitations had not yet expired. Following this change, 37 states and the federal government have removed the statute of limitations for some or all sex crimes against children.

...

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois drug crimes lawyerThe abuse of heroin and opioids has become a major health crisis in the Chicago area; more than 1,000 people died of drug overdoses in Cook County in 2016, which was a significant increase over the 693 drug overdose deaths in 2015. Law enforcement officials are working to combat this epidemic, and some advocates have encouraged them to charge drug dealers with drug-induced homicide in addition to standard drug charges.

Drug-Induced Homicide in Illinois

In Illinois, a person can be charged with drug-induced homicide if they provided illegal drugs to someone and the use of those drugs resulted in that person’s death. Drug-induced homicide is a Class X felony, and it is punishable by 15 to 30 years in prison.

...

Illinoiscriminal attorney, Illinois defense lawyerAnyone who has been arrested on criminal charges faces a great deal of financial hardship, including bail, court fees, fines, attorney’s fees, and the possible loss of income. But what many people do not know is that when they are arrested, police can seize their money or property if they believe that it was used to commit a crime. This is known as civil asset forfeiture.

While civil asset forfeiture is meant to provide law enforcement with tools to disrupt the activities of large scale criminal organizations, the practice has come under fire in recent years due to its increased use in a wide variety of criminal cases. Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have argued that law enforcement officials disproportionately target lower-income individuals who do not have the resources to prove their innocence and reclaim their property.

These claims are backed up by studies from journalistic organizations such as Reason and the Chicago Reader, who analyzed data about civil forfeitures in Cook County. These studies showed that low-income neighborhoods in Chicago’s south side and west side were disproportionately targeted, especially for seizures of amounts less than $100.

...

Posted on in Theft

Chicago criminal defense attorneyIt is estimated that there exist approximately 27 million shoplifters in the United States. That means that one in 11 people have shoplifted at some point in their lives. In the last five years, over 10 million of those people have been caught. Shoplifting is so prevalent that there is even a community of proud shoplifters showing off pictures of items they have swiped on the social networking website Reddit. The community, which has over 30 thousand subscribers, is a forum for shoplifters to share methods, advice, and tricks of the trade. The welcome message touts “Welcome to Shoplifting! If you're here to preach morals, enjoy your very brief stay. If you're here to learn and share, please help contribute to our wonderful community of allegedly corrupt and soulless individuals.”

Shoplifting Can Cost More Than You Might Think

Although shoplifting is often seen as a minor crime, the consequences can be serious. If a person is caught shoplifting, they could face criminal penalties including fines, community service, or even jail time.

...

Chicago DUI defense lawyersYou can probably imagine what it feels like to be pulled over by the police on a night where you have had a few drinks, even if it has never happened to you before. The lights flash behind you and your heart sinks. By the time the officer is at your window, you are probably extremely nervous, but you want to make this go as smooth as possible so that you get home quickly. As expected, the officer asks if you have been drinking, and you honestly answer that you had a couple earlier. Then, the officer asks if you will take a breathalyzer test. Can you refuse?

Understanding the Law

According to Illinois law, drivers give their implied consent to submit to blood alcohol content (BAC) testing by operating a motor vehicle on the streets and roadways of the state. There is an important caveat, however. Implied consent only refers to testing that is conducted incident to an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI). This means that you are under no obligation whatsoever to take a BAC test unless and until you have been arrested on suspicion of DUI. Regardless of what the officer tells you, if you have not been arrested, you cannot be forced to take a breathalyzer.

...

Chicago criminal defense attorneysIf you are facing criminal charges, you may be overwhelmed by the legal process that lies ahead. Depending on the nature and severity of the alleged offense—along with your own criminal history—you could be eligible for probation in lieu of serving time in jail. But, what is probation and who qualifies? A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you make sense of a challenging situation.

What Is Probation?

Probation is a sentencing alternative that offers offenders substantially more personal freedom while they serve their sentences. In most cases, an offender on probation can live at home, go to work, and live most of a normal life, but always under the close supervision of a probation officer. An individual on probation is required to abide the terms set by the court and his or her behavior is closely monitored. In some cases, probation begins immediately upon a finding of guilt while in others, it begins after a reduced jail sentence.

...

Cook County criminal defense attorneyDid you know that in 2015, more than 1,000 individuals at the Cook County Jail spent more time behind bars than they were actually sentenced to serve? These cases were not the result of clerical errors, lost files, or mistakes by jail staff. Many of them, rather, were the result of low-level criminal offenders not being able to afford cash bail. Instead of serving only their prescribed sentence, these inmates first sat in jail waiting for trial or for a plea bargain to finalize. Their crimes, in most cases, were so minor that their sentences were shorter than the amount of time they had already spent in jail.

Thanks to a new law signed last month by Governor Bruce Rauner, however, such cases should no longer be common in Cook County or anywhere else in the state. The measure, which took effect immediately, is being praised by criminal justice reform advocates as a significant step in the right direction.

Bail Basics

...

Chicago criminal defense attorneysMost drivers in Northern Illinois have been stopped by police for traffic violations at some point in their lives. In some cases, a driver may be stopped for a moving violation—such as speeding—only for the officer to discover other offenses—such as driving with an expired registration. As the citations pile up, it can lead to serious problems for a driver, but things may soon get a little easier for drivers in certain situations, as Cook County has announced a plan to limit prosecution on specific, financial-related traffic violations.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx was elected in November, and since then, she has been changing the way the county’s prosecutors handle non-violent, low-level cases. Part of her efforts have been aimed at reducing crowded jails and prisons, but a reduction in available resources is also a major factor. According to some sources, county prosecutors are operating on about 70 percent of the resources they had just ten years ago, meaning that cuts must be made somewhere.

A New Approach

...

Chicago criminal defense attorneyPrescription opioid abuse is now a full-blown epidemic in the United States. Between 1999 and 2015, an estimated 183,000 people died from opioid overdoses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1,000 people per day are treated in emergency rooms for misuse of opioids. Drug overdoses now cause more deaths annually than automobile crashes, and opioids are the leading cause of overdoses by a wide margin.

Many individuals who become addicted to opioid-based medication begin taking the medicine for a legitimate reason and have a doctor’s prescription. After the bottle of pills—often hydrocodone, oxycodone or meperidine—is empty, however, individuals look to illegal sources. Many turn to heroin, fentanyl, and other street products with potentially devastating effects. A new study suggests, however, that starting down the path of opioids is not the preferred solution for most patients in need of pain medication

What Patients Want

...

Chicago criminal defense attorneyMost people are aware that likely know that the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for the average adult driver in the state of Illinois is 0.08 percent. But, what does that number represent? Is there a magic number of drinks that reaches the threshold, which consumers are forbidden to pass and then drive a car? Does it matter what the drink of choice is? While 0.08 is the one substantial factor, several others contribute to surpassing that limitation and possibly being charged with driving under the influence (DUI).

What Was in Your Glass?

This is where it pays to go to a reputable establishment to consume alcohol. Did you know that each beverage has a glass in which it should be served? Classifications break down into glasses made specifically for beer, wine, or spirits and further into each subclass. The idea behind specialized glasses ensures consumers not only enjoy the best taste of their beverages but are also not consuming too much without knowledge. By serving inappropriate amounts of alcohol per glass, a vendor may set their customers up for disaster. Consider that the following measurements are all equal to one standard drink:

...
Illinois State Bar Association American Bar Association Hispanic Lawyer Association of Illinois Super Lawyers
Back to Top