Hartsfield Law

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Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs seriously endangers both the driver and other people on the road, and as such, it is treated as a serious offense under Illinois law. Depending on the circumstances, a first-time DUI offender may be fortunate to receive only a one-year driver’s license revocation and court supervision, but a misdemeanor conviction with fines and jail time is also possible. Additionally, certain aggravating factors can mean that even a first offense is charged as a felony. If you are facing charges of aggravated DUI, you need an attorney who can help you understand and
Continue Reading When Is DUI Considered a Felony in Illinois?

While no one is happy to receive a speeding ticket, many people view them as a nuisance at worst, possibly meaning that they have to pay a fine or make an appearance in traffic court. However, in Illinois, the consequences for speeding can be significantly more severe depending on the circumstances. If you are charged with aggravated speeding, you can be arrested, and you may face a criminal conviction and the accompanying sentence.
What Qualifies as Aggravated Speeding in Illinois?
A person can be ticketed for speeding in Illinois if they exceed the posted speed limit by any amount,
Continue Reading Can I Be Arrested for Speeding in Illinois?

Few substances have been the subject of as much confusion and controversy as cannabis. Some tout the drug as a useful medication while others see cannabis as a dangerous “gateway drug.” Adding to the general confusion about marijuana is the fact that, despite being fully legalized in 15 U.S. states, the drug is still classified as an illicit controlled substance under federal law. The recreational use of marijuana in Illinois became legal on January 1, 2020. However, the possession, sale, cultivation, and consumption of cannabis are still regulated by Illinois law. It is therefore possible to face serious criminal charges
Continue Reading Can I Still Face Criminal Charges Related to Marijuana in Illinois?

Under Illinois law, the crime of assault is defined as “knowingly engag[ing] in conduct which places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery,” or in other words, threatening a person with physical harm. Assault is generally treated as a less serious offense than battery, which is the actual act of physically harming another person. However, if the assault involves the use of a deadly weapon, it may result in more significant consequences. If you have been accused of assault, your attorney can help you protect your rights and understand the extent of the criminal charges you may face.
Continue Reading How Can a Deadly Weapon Affect Assault Charges in Illinois?

Drunk driving poses a severe danger in Illinois, accounting for more than 25 percent of all fatal car accidents and over 1,000 annual deaths. For this reason, the state treats driving under the influence (DUI) as a serious crime, especially for repeat offenders. If you have been arrested for DUI and you have a prior conviction on your record, you can face severe penalties. Therefore, it is more important than ever that you have a qualified criminal defense attorney who can help you protect your rights.
Penalties for Multiple DUI Convictions
In Illinois, a driver can be charged
Continue Reading How Can Multiple DUI Offenses Affect My Sentence in Illinois?

Taking someone’s property unlawfully can result in criminal charges under a variety of circumstances in Illinois, but armed robbery is the most serious form. If you or someone you know has been charged with this crime, the penalties can be severe, and they may catch you off guard if you are not familiar with Illinois law. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand the charges you are facing and your best options for a successful defense.
The Facts About Illinois Armed Robbery
Illinois laws regarding property crimes can be complicated, and it is important to know how they
Continue Reading Common Misconceptions About Armed Robbery in Illinois

Making mistakes is part of growing up, and unfortunately, some of those mistakes can result in run-ins with the law. Judgments of juvenile delinquency, while typically not considered criminal convictions in Illinois, can still have consequences that last into your adult life. If you have a juvenile record, it is important to understand how those consequences can affect you, as well as what you may be able to do to avoid them through expungement.
Possible Consequences of an Illinois Juvenile Record
There is a wide range of potential consequences that come with a record of juvenile delinquency, including:

  • Public


Continue Reading How Can a Juvenile Record Affect Me as an Adult in Illinois?

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
Continue Reading How to Get Your Illinois Driver’s License Reinstated After DUI

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
Continue Reading What Happens If I Am Subject to an Illinois Order of Protection or No Contact Order?

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
Continue Reading What Are My Options to Clear My Criminal Record in Illinois?

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
Continue Reading What Are Common Defenses When Charged with Burglary?

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
Continue Reading What Are the Penalties for Breaking the Stay-At-Home Order?

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
Continue Reading What Is the Difference Between Assault and Battery in Illinois?

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
Continue Reading What Does Unlawful Use of Weapons Mean in Illinois?

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
Continue Reading What Are DUI Checkpoints and How Does Illinois Use Them?

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
Continue Reading Potential Defenses When Accused of Retail Theft