Criminal

For anyone who finds themselves in trouble with the law, their involvement with the criminal justice system begins with an arrest. There are many rules governing arrests and how they must be performed, all to protect the constitutional rights of the arrestee, who is by default, innocent until proven guilty. Many defendants facing a variety of charges may find that they were the subject of a search warrant, which is a document that allows police officers to enter certain places to attempt to retrieve evidence. However, in recent months, a specific type of search warrant, dubbed a “no-knock” search warrant,…
While jail can often be avoided for a first time DUI in Illinois, there are a variety of factors that help determine whether any period of incarceration will be imposed. In Illinois, DUI is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail and/or a fine in the amount of $2,500.00 plus mandatory court assessments. The sentence may also range anywhere from court supervision to probation. Jail time can only be imposed if you are convicted of the DUI offense.  Penalties of a First DUI  A first offender who is…
Mitchell v. Wisconsin, SCOTUS No. 18–6210, Decided June 27, 2019. Episode 647 (Duration 22:02) (Categorical Rule Allows Warrantless Blood Draws From Unconscious Drivers) Unconscious drivers plus natural BAC dissipation create an exigent circumstance for a blood draw. Gist Police get a call of a very drunk man driving off. Man Is Found Man is found near […] The post Mitchell v. Wisconsin | Warrantless Blood Draws first appeared on IllinoisCaseLaw.com.…
The fight or flight response is a natural response that the human body has to stress or outside stimuli to determine if you are going to flee from the impending danger or stay and fight. In dire situations, the will to stay alive is a primal instinct and would lead you to do things that you would not normally do, such as using extreme force. This is why self-defense laws exist, or in Illinois’ case, the justifiable use of force laws. If you have been charged with assault and/or battery in Illinois, you may be able to argue that your…
Did you know that you could be charged with a federal crime even if authorities are aware that you did not actually commit what most people would consider an illegal act? At some point or another, most of us have talked or joked about the idea of committing some type of crime—such as robbing a bank when family finances get tight. Doing so may seem harmless, especially when such conversations are light-hearted, but in reality, having serious discussions or making plans related to the commission of a crime could lead to the filing of federal conspiracy charges. It is possible…
According to recent Illinois case law, the answer is a probable yes. Under Illinois law, any person who drives or is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle upon the public way shall be deemed to have consented to chemical tests.  This is known as implied consent. Generally, you must be under arrest before the results of any testing can be used against you unless the tests fall under an exception to the warrant requirement. One such exception is actual consent.  In  People v. Patel, the defendant had been in a traffic accident and was at the hospital…
It is still legal to own a firearm in Illinois, but it is essential to know how Illinois gun laws are changing to avoid any gun charges. In a recent effort to curb shootings, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a new gun control law that provides more regulation for firearms dealers. The specifics of the law have widespread ramifications. If you face weapons charges for unlawful possession or use of a firearm, speak with a criminal defense attorney in your area as soon as you can. 2019 Firearms Dealer Regulation Legislation Very early in Governor J.B. Pritzker’s tenure, he signed a…
Psychologists provide an important service for their patients, who rely on their expertise for therapy and treatment of a wide range of mental and behavioral health issues. Psychologists who breach their patients’ trust may face serious consequences, including the loss of their license. In some cases, they may even face medical malpractice lawsuits. What Is Medical Malpractice? Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional breaches his or her duty of care to a patient, resulting in the patient’s injury or harm. For physical healthcare providers, some of the most common forms of malpractice are surgical errors, improper medication or prescriptions,…
Domestic disputes are an unfortunate reality of many people’s lives. Spouses, romantic partners, parents, children, or other family members often get into arguments, and these sometimes escalate to the point where one or more of the people involved do not feel safe. This has become even more of a concern during the COVID-19 pandemic, since many families have been required to remain at home to prevent the spread of infection, and this close, constant proximity may lead to increased tensions between family members. When this is added to stress from the loss of a job, the requirement to provide childcare…
Across the United States, firearms and other weapons are highly regulated in an attempt to keep them out of the hands of wrongdoers and to keep citizens safe. The state of Illinois is no exception. Illinois has some relatively strict laws when it comes to the possession and use of firearms and other weapons. These laws exist as a means to protect people and to keep the community safe, which is why a conviction for unlawful use of a weapon charge has the possibility of resulting in a misdemeanor or even a felony charge in some situations. The severity of…
The use or threat of force can be a criminal offense in Illinois. Threatening someone with violence is assault while committing an act of violence against someone is battery. However, Illinois allows actions that would normally be assault or battery if you were acting in defense of yourself, another person, or your property. The difference between battery and self-defense can be murky and heavily depends on the context. Your belief that you were acting in self-defense may not be enough to prevent an assault or battery charge if your response was unreasonable or excessive. Establishing Self-Defense There are four key…
Illinois takes criminal offenses seriously, and the state charges and prosecutes sexual offenses with stiff penalties. Just being accused of any type of sex crime can significantly impact a person’s personal reputation as well as his or her career, including the suspension or termination of professional licenses. Depending on the criminal act, a conviction can result in a lengthy prison sentence, as well as being required to register as a sex offender for the rest of the individual’s life. That is why it is imperative that you seek professional legal counsel if you or someone you know is facing such…
Over the last few weeks, more than 1,000 arrests have been made in major cities around the country, and over 215 individuals have been charged with at least one federal crime. These numbers come from an announcement made by U.S. Attorney General William Barr last week. The arrests were made as part of “Operation Legend,” a focused, nationwide effort to combat violent crime in America’s large cities. In Chicago alone, more than 60 people have been charged with federal crimes since the initiative began in the city on July 22. Attorney Barr said the charges are related to bank…
You have just been charged with domestic violence based on interfering with your ex’s personal liberty. What does that mean? What can you do about it? Under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act, “‘interference with personal liberty’ means committing or threatening physical abuse, harassment, intimidation or willful deprivation so as to compel another to engage in conduct from which she or he has a right to abstain or to refrain from conduct in which she or he has a right to engage.” In a 1994 Illinois case, In re Marriage of Healy, the court declined to find interference with personal…
Any Illinois resident who wishes to own a firearm legally must have a valid Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card. Even if someone does not use a firearm in any way, they still risk penalties for either not having a FOID or invalidating its terms. If you face weapons charges or need to fight any accusations that you illegally possess a firearm, speak with a criminal defense attorney with experience in Illinois weapons law. Weapons charges and FOID penalties can be harsh, so you will want to lessen or avoid them at all costs. Illinois FOID Violations Gun laws vary…
When you think of crime in general, you likely think of weapons, drugs, or violence. However, there are many other behaviors and actions that also constitute criminal activity. While-collar crime, for example, is not typically a violent or destructive type of crime, but it is still considered unlawful activity and encompasses behaviors such as fraud and embezzlement. In the state of Illinois, white-collar crimes such as embezzlement are taken rather seriously and can carry severe and unfavorable consequences if you are convicted. White-collar crimes can often get complicated, which is why it would be smart to hire a skilled Illinois…