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IL defense lawyerThe state of Illinois has a highly specific law regarding gun ownership and concealed carry rules. Guns are legal to carry as long as the owner has the proper paperwork which gives them the right to carry.

Those who illegally carry a firearm will face misdemeanor charges for first offenses and possible felony charges for subsequent offenses. Illegal gun carriers will also face felony charges if they discharge their weapon resulting in injury or death of a victim.

Requirements for Owning and Carrying a Firearm

There are two types of permits that a person needs in order to legally possess a gun in Illinois. Homeowners who wish to possess a firearm for security purposes only need to apply for a Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID). If a person meets the requirements for the FOID, they can then possess a gun within their home, but cannot carry it out of their home unless it is unloaded and stored inside a proper container.

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Posted on in Theft

IL defense lawyerStores have many methods of keeping their merchandise and location safe from thieves, but it can still happen from customers and employees alike. People who attempt to steal from a store will face serious consequences if they are caught. Retail theft may be a tempting idea for people who are desperate for food or clothes, but offenders will be charged with misdemeanor or even felony charges if caught.

What Does the Law Say?

The state of Illinois punishes alleged thieves whether they are a person off the streets or someone who works for the business. It also covers a variety of ways that people can attempt to steal. Most simply grab an item and leave the store, but other types of theft that the law covers are:

  • Altering and/or removing labels from items to make them “less expensive” when the cashier rings up the item.
  • Taking an item from the container in which it is being stored with the intention of stealing the merchandise.
  • Removing a shopping cart from the business without their consent.
  • Attempts to convince the merchant that they are the rightful owner of the merchandise they are trying to steal.
  • Using a theft deflection device to try hiding their unlawful action from the merchant.
  • Employees who under-ring a product so they do not pay full price.
  • Using a self-checkout line to attempt to not ring up a product properly.

The least severe charge for retail theft is a Class A misdemeanor which is given out when the value of property stolen does not exceed $300. Using an anti-theft device is also a Class A misdemeanor for first offenders; subsequent offenses are elevated to Class 4 felony charges.

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IL defense lawyerMarijuana will soon be legal for recreational purposes in Illinois, however, there are still specific dispensaries that will sell the drug. Other illegal substances such as opioids and narcotics are not to be sold in the state or brought into Illinois from other states/countries. Selling or trafficking illegal substances is breaking the Illinois Controlled Substance Act, and can lead to a drug crime conviction punishable as a felony. Consequences vary depending on the amount of drugs involved in the violation.

What Is Illinois Controlled Substance Act?

Illinois created the Controlled Substance Act to clearly define what would happen if a drug dealer is caught during a sale or if someone is found trafficking in drugs from other states. The law covers controlled substances, counterfeit substances, and controlled substance analogs.

The Act includes detailed accounts for what type of felony punishments a person can face if they are charged with drug dealing of substances such as cocaine, morphine, methamphetamines, and LSD:

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IL defense lawyerIllinois State Police estimates that every year distracted driving is the cause of more than 1 million crashes. Of those accidents, the economic damages - injury and death - add up to close to $40 billion. This is why Illinois is cracking down on cell phone usage while behind the wheel. The law changed on July 1 and now states that using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle will be considered a moving violation on the first violation.

What Was the Previous Law?

Before the first of July, drivers who were stopped because of cell phone usage behind the wheel were given a verbal warning that if it were to happen again, they would face a traffic violation. The subsequent traffic stops would result in a moving violation and a fine would be issued depending on how many violations the driver has had:

  • First offenses are punishable by a $75 fine.
  • Second offenses are punishable by a $100 fine.
  • Third offenses are punishable by a $125 fine.
  • Fourth and subsequent offenses are punishable by a $150 fine.

What to Expect Now

The major change to the Illinois law is that now any violation of cell phone usage while driving will go on a driver’s permanent record as a moving violation even if it is the first offense. The fines remain the same as before, but according to a report from the Chicago Tribune, if a driver receives three violations in one year, their license will be suspended.

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IL defense lawyerDomestic violence is a crime that is taken very seriously and has severe consequences for those who commit it. Though the type of punishments that offenders of domestic violence get are deserved, the extremely personal nature of the crime makes it difficult for those who are falsely accused to clear their name. In the state of Illinois, police officers are required to arrest a person if the officer has reason to believe that they have committed an act of abuse or neglect. Even if the officer makes no arrest during a domestic violence call, they must always fill out a police report with the alleged victim and the alleged suspect’s information and statements. If a person decides to file an order of protection against someone, this means they are telling the court that they have been abused and wish to seek charges against the abuser.

What Is Domestic Violence?

Though different states may have different definitions of domestic violence, Illinois defines domestic violence as any act of “abuse” perpetrated by a “family or household member.” An act of abuse can be:

  • Physical abuse;
  • Harassment;
  • Intimidation;
  • Interference with personal liberty; or
  • Willful deprivation.

Family or household members can include:

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IL defense lawyerMost people use the terms theft, robbery and burglary interchangeably and for the most part, they can be used that way in general conversation. In the criminal justice world, theft, robbery, and burglary each have their own meanings and often have different consequences, depending on which crime you are accused of. If you are accused of one of these crimes, it is very important that you understand what constitutes each crime and what kind of punishments you are facing.

Theft

The Illinois Criminal Code of 2012 states that you are committing theft if you:

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style=When you get your driver’s license in Illinois, you are agreeing to a number of things, such as carrying insurance when you drive, obeying all traffic laws and driving in a safe manner. What some Illinois drivers may not know is that when they obtain a driver’s license, they are also giving their implied consent to be subject to a chemical test, such as a test of the blood, breath, urine or other bodily substance, which is used to determine whether or not the driver is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. When drivers are arrested for DUI and refuse to submit to these tests, they are subject to a statutory summary suspension of their driving privileges.

What Is a Statutory Summary Suspension?

In Illinois, when a driver is arrested for DUI and refuses to submit to chemical testing or fails a chemical test, he or she will automatically have their driving privileges suspended. Failing a test means that their blood-alcohol content (BAC) measured at a .08 or over or the THC content was either 5 or more nanograms per milliliter of blood or 10 nanograms or more per milliliter of another bodily substance. A statutory suspension is not a punishment for a DUI conviction--consequences for a conviction would be added to the suspension. Even if you challenge the arrest in court, the suspension is still in effect.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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