Hartsfield Law

Hartsfield Law Blogs

Blog Authors

Latest from Hartsfield Law

While the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives us the right to bear arms, possession of firearms and other weapons is limited by state and federal laws. Violating these laws can lead to significant criminal penalties, including jail time. If you or a loved one were charged with a firearm or weapon-related offense, seek legal counsel immediately. You will want to start building a defense against the accusations as soon as possible.
Illinois Weapons Laws
Illinois state has strict rules regarding who may carry a firearm and where firearms are permitted. Anyone who wants to own a firearm
Continue Reading Responding to Criminal Charges for Unlawful Use of a Weapon

Being accused of assault or battery is a serious matter. If you are convicted, you could face jail time, a steep fine, and other criminal consequences. Even if you are ultimately cleared of the charges, the mere accusation can damage your reputation. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to take immediate action to protect your rights.
Do Not Talk to the Police Without an Attorney Present
If the police want to talk to you about an allegation of assault or battery, it is important that you have an attorney present. Do not try to talk your
Continue Reading How to Handle False Allegations of Assault or Battery

Any criminal charge can be life-changing, but the criminal penalties and personal consequences associated with violent offenses are especially severe. If you or a loved one were charged with domestic battery, sexual assault, homicide, or another violent offense, the need for strong legal counsel cannot be overstated. Your lawyer can investigate your case and determine the best way to proceed. In some cases, the defendant’s best option is to fight the charges at trial and hope for an acquittal. In other cases, it is better to arrange a plea deal or plea bargain. 
What is a Plea Bargain?
A plea
Continue Reading Plea Bargaining for Violent Offenses in Illinois

Most people are familiar with the “legal limit” for blood alcohol content (BAC). In 49 U.S. states, including Illinois, the legal limit is 0.08 percent. A driver with a BAC of 0.08 percent or more is intoxicated “per se,” or intoxicated as a matter of law. If you are pulled over by the police, given a breath test, and the results show a BAC over the legal limit, you will be arrested for drunk driving.
However, in some cases, it is possible for an individual to avoid conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) even if they blew over 0.08
Continue Reading Is it Possible to Get Out of a DUI If You Blew Over 0.08 Percent?

Illinois law defines assault as conduct that is offensive or threatening, while battery refers to actual physical contact. Assault and/or battery charges often follow a physical altercation or fight. Assault and battery charges can be misdemeanors or felonies depending on the nature of the alleged offense. Being convicted of either offense can lead to serious repercussions, including jail time. Having a conviction on your criminal record can also dramatically impact employment and housing opportunities.
If you or a loved one were charged with assault or battery, contact a criminal defense lawyer right away. Your attorney can begin building a strong
Continue Reading Presenting a Strong Defense Against Assault or Battery Charges

Most people take prescription medications from time to time. An individual recovering from surgery may take prescription pain medicine. Someone with an anxiety disorder may take anti-anxiety medication. When a doctor prescribes a medication to a patient, the doctor is essentially giving the patient authorization to take the medication. Many people are shocked to learn that they can face criminal charges for driving under the influence (DUI) for taking medicine that was lawfully prescribed to them. DUI involving prescription medication can lead to driver’s license suspension or revocation, expensive fines, or even jail time.
Driving Under the Influence of Prescription
Continue Reading Common Medications Can Lead to DUI Charges – Even with a Valid Prescription

Soaring gas prices, food shortages, inflation, and countless other issues have made the first half of 2022 very difficult for Americans. Many people are struggling to make ends meet and fulfill their financial obligations. As a result, more and more people are buying items outside of the typical retail stores. They may turn to Facebook Marketplace, eBay, eBid, Craigslist, and other websites to buy used items instead of shelling out money for brand new items at the store. Unfortunately, some of the items that are sold online are stolen, and buyers may find themselves facing criminal charges for receipt of
Continue Reading Can I Be Charged with Theft for Buying a Stolen Item Online?

Everyone has heard the classic line that “your home is your castle.” This means that your residence is considered sacred, and deserves protection from unwanted intrusion by others. One way Illinois recognizes this right is through its laws against burglary and criminal trespass to a residence. These are both types of unwanted home intrusion. But how are they different?
What is Criminal Trespass to a Residence?
In Illinois law, if you knowingly enter someone else’s home, or stay there without their permission, that is considered “criminal trespass.” The key to charging and proving this criminal offense is intent. For the
Continue Reading How is Burglary Different from Trespassing in Cook County?

We’ve all heard the phrase “assault and battery,” as though this were a single offense. So you may be surprised that in Illinois, unlike some states, these are actually two different crimes that can be charged separately. Under Illinois law, battery is either conduct causing bodily harm or insulting, provocative, or unwanted physical contact with another person. Assault, on the other hand, is intentional conduct that causes the fear of imminent violence. So while a battery would generally include actual physical contact or injury, an assault would merely be a real or implied threat of physical harm.
Continue Reading What is the Difference Between Assault and Battery in Cook County?

Crimes that affect children are taken very seriously, and a person who is accused of these types of offenses may face a lengthy prison sentence if they are convicted, as well as multiple other types of penalties. Sex crimes that allegedly involve child victims are considered to be especially reprehensible, and offenses related to child pornography will usually be investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Those who are accused of possessing, distributing, or producing child pornography will need to understand the specific charges they may face, the penalties that may apply if they are convicted, and
Continue Reading What Are the Penalties for Child Pornography Offenses in Illinois?

There are a variety of situations where a person may face criminal charges based on accusations of theft. Some of the most common charges in these cases involve claims that a person has committed retail theft, which is commonly known as shoplifting. While this may seem like a relatively minor offense, there are a variety of factors that may result in serious charges that can lead to large fines or significant jail time if a person is convicted. By understanding the types of actions that could lead to these charges and the potential penalties for these offenses, those
Continue Reading When Can a Person Face Criminal Charges for Retail Theft in Illinois?

It is true that a first-time simple DUI is usually charged as a misdemeanor, both in Illinois and elsewhere. If the case is relatively simple and you did not cause any real harm, you might even get court supervision instead of jail time. However, there are some circumstances that render even a first-time DUI so serious that it will be treated as a felony. If you are facing felony DUI charges, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to put forth a strong defense in the hopes of having your charges at least reduced back to a misdemeanor.
What
Continue Reading 6 Reasons Your First Chicago Area DUI Could Be a Felony

Since 2019, the city of Chicago has put a ban on “assault weapons.” This law was in response to a series of mass shootings taking place in Illinois and across the entire nation, mostly involving large, automatic rifles. No single, unified definition of an “assault weapon” exists. States have turned to varying formulations and definitions in an attempt to define what constitutes an “assault weapon.” It is important for Cook County gun owners to be familiar with how the law actually defines possession of an assault weapon, lest you find yourself facing a firearms charge.
What is the Definition
Continue Reading What Does Chicago's Ban on Assault Weapons Mean?

A recent decision by Cook County prosecutors not to pursue charges against five suspected gang members involved in a fatal Chicago shootout left many locals surprised and confused. Although all five were arrested on suspicion of murder and aggravated battery, they were later released from jail without being formally charged. The reason prosecutors cite for declining to charge the shooters is that they were engaged in “mutual combat,” according to a police report. But what does that mean?
If you are facing violent crime charges of any type, contacting an attorney as soon as possible is of great importance.
Continue Reading What Does "Mutual Combat" Mean?

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, your highest priority is likely to avoid conviction altogether. However, if you are ultimately convicted, you still may have hopes of avoiding a prison sentence. Fortunately, it is sometimes possible for criminal defendants in Cook County to avoid prison time through an alternative sentencing program. An attorney can help you determine whether you may be eligible for alternative sentencing and negotiate on your behalf with the goal of achieving this outcome.
Cook County Alternative Sentencing Options
The availability of alternative sentencing largely depends on the county in which you
Continue Reading 6 Alternatives to a Prison Sentence in Cook County, Illinois

In Illinois, a conviction for a criminal offense can result in serious consequences including fines and imprisonment. However, many criminal defendants face hardship even before their trial due to policies like cash bail requirements for pretrial release. Cash bail policies are especially difficult for low-income defendants who may not have the resources to post bail, and who therefore must remain in custody while waiting for trial. Fortunately, Illinois has recently passed a bill that will end the use of cash bail in the coming years.
The Illinois Pretrial Fairness Act
In February 2021, the Illinois legislature passed House Bill 3653,
Continue Reading Illinois Set to End Cash Bail for Criminal Defendants By 2023