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Drunk or impaired driving is a serious criminal offense in Illinois that endangers both the driver and anyone else on or near the road. In the interest of public safety, one of the penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) is the suspension or revocation of the driver’s license for a period of time. There are ways for arrested or convicted drivers to regain their driving privileges after completing their sentence, but in order for you to have your license reinstated, you must follow the necessary procedures under Illinois law. Suspension Vs. Revocation in an Illinois DUI Arrest If you…
Domestic and sexual abuse are far too prevalent in the U.S. According to data from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in three women and one in four men are victims of physical violence by an intimate partner. These eye-opening numbers reveal that domestic violence or stalking victims are often targeted by loved ones. The state of Illinois has taken it upon itself to protect these victims, allowing them to take action against their stalkers or abusers. If you are facing such charges, whether they have substance or not, it is imperative that you are aware of the terms…
No one wants to have a stain on their personal record, no matter how minor or serious the charge is. It is fairly common to have a minor offense on your record from earlier in life that was likely the result of a lapse in judgment. However, a bad choice you made in your 20s should not determine who you are now. All arrests and charges, even those that end with a finding of not guilty, are included in your criminal record. Illinois recognizes one’s ability to change and offers citizens a second chance by allowing them to clear their…
There are serious consequences for being accused of a burglary, which may follow you for the rest of your life. Being convicted for burglary in Illinois is often a Class 2 felony, punishable by three-to-seven years in prison and a fine of as much as $25,000. You could face additional charges if you are accused of being armed during the incident or invading a residence while the owners were still home. A felony conviction on your criminal record will make it more difficult to obtain employment and could increase the penalties you receive if you are ever convicted of…
Illinois residents have been under a stay-at-home order since March in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19 outbreaks in the state. When the order was first announced, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said that the police departments did not have the manpower or the desire to enforce the order on an individual level. However, police officers have taken action against people who have violated the order. The Chicago Police Department reported that it issued 4,632 dispersal orders, wrote six citations, and arrested 17 people for violating the stay-at-home order in April. With the order continuing at least through the…
The words “assault” and “battery” are often used together when discussing criminal charges – so much so that it is understandable if you do not know the difference between the two. You may think that both of them involve causing physical harm to another person, but you can assault a person without ever touching them. There can also be a difference between assault and battery when it comes to the level of charge. A battery charge is potentially more serious than if you are charged with assault. Understanding Assault Illinois defines assault as causing someone to reasonably believe that you…
The term “unlawful use of weapons” is somewhat misleading. In Illinois, you do not have to be actively using the weapon in order to be charged with unlawful use. More often, people are arrested for possessing the weapon after a police officer has stopped them due to allegedly criminal or suspicious behavior. Actively using a weapon is a different criminal charge in Illinois, such as aggravated discharge of a firearm or armed violence. A charge of unlawful use of weapons can be a felony depending on the type of weapon you have, where you were found with it, and whether you…
Like most other states in the U.S., Illinois allows law enforcement agencies to set up DUI checkpoints, where officers can stop passing vehicles to look for signs that the driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Twelve states prohibit checkpoints, saying that they violate the drivers’ constitutional rights by stopping them without having to establish reasonable suspicion. Absent a change in Illinois’ law, you need to understand what a DUI checkpoint is and what your rights are when approaching one. How Do DUI Checkpoints Work? Normally, a police officer can stop a vehicle only if they have…
December is the busiest time of the year for retail stores when many holiday shoppers are purchasing gifts. Store owners know that there is also an increase in retail theft during the holiday season. Stores will be on high alert for potential shoplifters, who may be enticed by the volume of merchandise on display. In their attempts to prevent shoplifting, store employees will sometimes falsely accuse a customer of retail theft. Depending on the seriousness of the alleged theft, the store may contact the police, who will decide whether to arrest you and charge you with retail theft. There are several…
You may have heard about the points system that Illinois uses for people who commit moving traffic violations. Each violation counts for a certain number of points that will go on your driving record. You could receive as few as five points for traveling 10 miles per hour or less over the speed limit. You could also receive as many as 55 points for a reckless driving conviction. There is a common misconception that Illinois will suspend your driver’s license once your points surpass a limit. The number of traffic tickets you receive in a 12-month period triggers a driver’s…
On the first day of 2020, recreational marijuana will officially become legal in Illinois. While this is exciting news for some residents, it is important to know that the possession and use of marijuana will be heavily regulated. You cannot simply possess as much cannabis as you want or smoke it anywhere, though some of these violations will result in merely a fine. As with alcohol, it will still be illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana or to provide marijuana to someone under the age of 21. Here are the important facts you need to know before recreational…
Burglary is a criminal charge that involves unauthorized access to a private property with the intent to commit a crime. People often associate burglary with theft, but the offender could also attempt to commit an assault or destroy property. Unauthorized access without criminal intent could be a lesser charge of criminal trespassing. It is also illegal to possess or sell burglary tools, even if you are not caught using them. There are three types of burglary charges in Illinois, all of which are felonies. Burglary The standard burglary charge is when someone knowingly enters private property without authority and…
A sex crime conviction in Illinois has severe punishments, such as a possible prison sentence and sizeable fines. However, the longest-lasting consequence is when you are required to register as a sex offender. While you are registered, you may be limited in where you can live, work and visit. Many people base their conceptions of sex offender registries on references in popular culture. Being a registered sex offender affects people in ways that you might not expect. Here are the answers to five common questions about the sex offender registry system: Which Offenses Require You to Register as a Sex…
Theft is a criminal charge that varies in punishment depending on the details of the offense. A conviction for theft can range from a misdemeanor to the highest level of a felony. Illinois law classifies its theft charges based on how much was stolen, how it was stolen, and where the theft took place. Facing a misdemeanor or felony charge could change how you contest the charge against you and whether you may be willing to plead guilty to a lesser charge. Value of Theft The lowest-level theft charge is a class A misdemeanor and is defined as theft of…
A criminal assault charge is often accompanied by a battery charge. Assault is the non-physical act of threatening someone to the point that they fear for their safety, while battery is actually using violence against that person. You can be charged with assault alone if the alleged victim accuses you of threatening harm without the incident resulting in physical contact. If you have been charged with assault, you should remember that the prosecution bears the burden of proving that a crime occurred. By examining details of your case, a criminal defense attorney can identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s argument against you.…