Criminal

Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals are required to maintain a valid medical license in order to provide treatment to patients. The requirements to obtain a license are extensive, and providers will need to remain in good standing and meet additional requirements when applying for the renewal of their medical license. Medical professionals should also be aware that they could face disciplinary action by the Illinois Medical Board, the Illinois Board of Nursing, or other divisions of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation if they are accused of violating laws or professional standards. To avoid discipline…
Most people need to be able to drive as part of their daily activities. Getting to and from work, transporting children to school or other activities, or running errands will usually require the use of a car. This means that whenever a person loses their driver’s license, they will want to understand how they can get their driving privileges reinstated as quickly as possible. Depending on whether an Illinois resident’s license was suspended or revoked, they may need to attend a license reinstatement hearing, and the reason they lost their license will determine whether a formal or informal…
Since its inception, the United States has done things a little differently. When it comes to gun laws, the country as a whole is unique. The inherent right to gun ownership is written into the country’s constitution, though each individual state has the right to regulate the possession, use, sale, purchase, and/or transfer of firearms within their boundaries. While some states are laxer with their firearm laws, the state of Illinois tends to have rather strict laws concerning firearms. In particular, not everyone is legally permitted to own a firearm in the state of Illinois. Being caught in possession…
You have a loved one in prison. He hung out with some people who were not his friends and got involved in a robbery. You want to shorten what seems like an unfair sentence. Are you looking for a commutation or a pardon? It depends on whether your loved one has completed his or her sentence. If you want to get someone out of prison, a commutation could shorten their sentence. If your loved one has completed their sentence and cannot seal or expunge their record, they can petition for a pardon. A commutation can be granted for health reasons…
Each year, the FBI collects important data on hate crimes that occur around the country in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Last week, the FBI released the 2019 hate crime statistics, the most recent hate crime data available for the U.S. According to that data, there were 65 hate crimes that were reported to have taken place in the state of Illinois in 2019. In recent years, lawmakers and law enforcement agencies across the country have put more money and resources into the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes, which has led to a big push to…
Being arrested for drunk driving can lead to multiple different types of consequences, especially if you are convicted for the criminal offense of driving under the influence (DUI). If you are convicted of DUI, your driver’s license will be revoked for at least one year, but even if you are not convicted, your license will be suspended if your blood alcohol content (BAC) was above the legal limit or if you refused to submit to blood alcohol testing. In order to regain your driving privileges, you may need to have a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) installed in…
In Illinois and throughout the U.S., people have the constitutional right to bear arms. However, that does not mean the possession of firearms and other weapons is unregulated. Illinois prohibits the possession of certain kinds of weapons outright and requires gun owners to obtain a Firearm Owners ID card (FOID) in order to be in compliance with state law. If you have been convicted of a felony in Illinois or another state, your FOID can be revoked, and future applications for an FOID can be denied. You may also face serious criminal penalties if you are found to be in…
You like driving late at night.  It’s quiet, and it lets you think.  One night, you pulled over to eat in a store’s parking lot.  The store had been closed for several hours, and the area was deserted.  An officer spotted you and came over to investigate.  He smelled alcohol and pretty soon you were out of your car and under arrest. Can they do that? The answer depends on the facts of your situation. An officer can see if you need help as part of his or her community caretaking function.  Were you sleeping in the car or did…
The legal blood alcohol content limit for anyone operating a motor vehicle is 0.08 percent. Consequently, many motorists assume that an individual may only be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) if their blood alcohol content is above this limit. However, it is possible to be arrested for DUI even if you pass a breathalyzer test or refuse to take the test. If you have been arrested for DUI, knowing your rights regarding DUI-related traffic stops, breathalyzers, and blood tests is key to forming a strong defense against the charges. Illinois Law Does Not Require…
Illinois law has prohibited the expungement and sealing of DUIs as part of a longstanding policy. Past failed legislative efforts have primarily sought to make DUIs expungeable, which would affect the Secretary of State’s ability to track a driver’s DUI history. In Illinois, a person’s DUI arrest history is significant in a variety of ways. For example, it is used to determine whether to charge a new DUI as a misdemeanor or felony, whether the individual is eligible for court supervision, and determine their eligibility for license reinstatement. If the Secretary of State were forced to delete such information from…
For healthcare providers such as doctors, nurses, psychologists, physical therapists, or pharmacists, notification that their practice is being investigated by an Office of Inspector General (OIG) can be very concerning. A state or federal OIG will look into reports of healthcare fraud or forms of waste or mismanagement involving Medicare or Medicaid. Depending on the results of an investigation, a provider may face a number of consequences, including exclusion from these programs or even criminal charges. To avoid these issues, it is crucial for providers to secure representation from an experienced attorney as soon as they are aware of…
Motorists tend to associate driver’s license suspensions and revocations with drunk driving offenses, and it does seem logical that such a harsh penalty would result from a serious traffic violation. However, the Illinois Secretary of State (IL-SOS) provides for many other ways you might lose your driving privileges. Generally, when you get a traffic citation, points are added to your driving record. If you reach a certain level, IL-SOS will suspend your driver’s license for a number of months that corresponds to the total points you accumulated. Still, this basic description overlooks some of the very important details involved when…
An officer can stop you for one reason then investigate you for another as long as the stop is not unduly prolonged. Whether a stop was unduly prolonged, and thus illegal, is a very fact-intensive question, which different judges may see very differently. A traffic stop is unduly prolonged if it takes longer than the time reasonably required to complete the officer’s mission. The mission consists of the stop’s purpose and related safety concerns. Authority for the stop ends when tasks tied to the traffic violation are, or reasonably should have been, completed.  These tasks include checking your driver’s license,…
Having a criminal record can impact your ability to gain employment, suitable housing, educational opportunities, and more. A mistake you made in your youth can influence your life years or even decades later. Some individuals have arrests on their record even though they were not actually convicted of the offense for which they were arrested. Fortunately, there may be a way to get your criminal record erased or “expunged” in Illinois. If you do not qualify for expungement, you may still qualify for record sealing. Qualifying Criteria for Expunging a Criminal Record in Illinois When a criminal record…
We all know what a construction zone looks like — orange cones everywhere, blinking lights on reflective signs, men and women in hardhats working on the scene. Most states have specific traffic laws that must be followed when driving through a construction zone, including Illinois. In most cases, these laws are more strict than typical traffic laws. This is because these laws were put into place to protect the construction workers themselves, and also the drivers on the road. The most common construction zone violations are speeding violations, which are taken seriously by the state. According to the Illinois Department…