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One of the most violent and dangerous types of crime is arson, or starting fires intentionally. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which defines arson as any “willful or malicious burning or attempting to burn with or without intent to defraud…”, states that there were nearly 33,400 incidents of arson that took place in the United States in 2019. Arson can often lead to serious injuries or even death, which is why it is punished accordingly in Illinois. If you have been charged with arson, you should know the penalties for the crime and any related charges that you…
In everyday conversation, we often use the terms “theft,” “robbery,” and/or “burglary” in place of one another. However, in the legal world, these three terms all have very distinct meanings and carry different sentences if a person were to be convicted of those crimes. A burglary charge is a serious offense in Illinois and can result in felony charges and potential imprisonment. If you have been accused of burglary in Illinois, having a skilled criminal defense attorney on your side can be immensely helpful.  Defining Burglary and Residential Burglary in Illinois When a crime is referred to as “burglary,” the…
Despite decades of anti-impaired driving ad campaigns, driving under the influence (DUI) remains a prominent issue in the United States. According to the Illinois Secretary of State, there were more than 26,000 arrests made for driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol in Illinois alone in 2019. DUI can be extremely dangerous and sometimes even deadly for those on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported more than 10,100 deaths occurred due to drunk driving accidents across the country in 2019. DUI is often punished harshly to attempt to deter offenders from reoffending. Various factors…
In some situations, the only way to protect yourself or others is to use physical force against another person. Nearly every state has a law governing the use of force against other people and when it is and is not appropriate, including Illinois. Everyone has the right to protect themselves from danger, even if the consequences become serious, but you must be able to prove that your use of force was in fact legal. If you are facing charges for assault and/or battery stemming from self-defense, you should immediately speak with a skilled Illinois criminal defense lawyer about your options.…
In general, a probation sentence is considered one of the more desirable sentences after a criminal conviction. Probation is an alternative to jail time when you have been convicted of a crime. Sometimes, a judge may sentence a person to probation if the crime they were convicted of was not serious or if the person does not pose a risk to society. When you are on probation, there are likely going to be various requirements you must meet, as well as certain things that you will not be permitted to do. If you violate any of the terms of your
There are so many rules that you must follow when you are driving, it is not difficult to break one of those rules. If you are caught breaking those rules, however, it is likely that you will receive a traffic citation. Most people have received at least a small citation in their lifetime, but the penalties for traffic violations can vary depending on the specific offense and the seriousness of the offense. In some cases, you may be required to attend a hearing in traffic court.  Traffic Court Procedure If you do have to attend traffic court, the officer issuing…
There are a handful of reasons why a person could end up with a suspended or revoked license. Some of these reasons do not even relate to driving, yet you can still lose your license all the same. Not paying fines relating to parking tickets, tolls, or automatic traffic violations, can lead to license suspension. Failing to pay court-ordered child support or failing to appear for a traffic citation could also result in a license suspension. Driving while under the influence (DUI) is one of the most common reason a person has their license suspended or revoked. Though it can…
When a person is arrested and charged with drug crimes, the prosecution’s case will often rely on the evidence recovered. Drugs or drug paraphernalia that are found on a person, in their vehicle, or in their home may be used as evidence, and depending on the amount of drugs and other types of evidence, such as materials used to manufacture or package drugs, a person may face charges of drug possession or drug manufacturing and delivery. However, police officers are required to follow the law when performing searches, and in cases involving illegal search and seizure, the…
Being accused of domestic violence can be devastating. These types of claims can permanently damage a person’s reputation while also affecting their relationships with family members or friends. Accusations can also lead to criminal charges, and in serious cases, these crimes may be considered felony offenses. A felony conviction can result in a prison sentence of one year or more, as well as up to $25,000 in fines. In domestic violence cases, a person will need to know how the law applies to them and their options for defense. Felony Domestic Violence Charges Accusations of domestic violence may result in…
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…
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…
There are multiple ways that a driver may be charged with a traffic violation. In many cases, traffic tickets will result in fines, but a driver may also see their insurance rates increase, and multiple violations within one year could even result in the suspension or revocation of their driver’s license. Traffic violations that take place in construction zones can result in more serious penalties. Drivers will need to be sure to understand the laws that apply in these situations and their options for defending against these types of violations. Types of Construction Zone Violations Usually, when road…
UPDATE: As of January 1, 2020, Illinois laws regarding marijuana have changed. Adults over the age of 21 are allowed to possess and use up to 30 grams of cannabis for recreational purposes, and adults and minors may also possess and use marijuana for medicinal purposes if they have a debilitating medical condition and are authorized to participate in the Medical Cannabis Patient Program. Along with these changes to the law, the penalties that minors may face for possession of marijuana have been updated. Minors under the age of 21 are prohibited from possessing or using marijuana, with the exception of…
Of all the different types of criminal charges that a person can face, some of the most serious involve the accusation that a person caused someone else’s death. While intentionally killing someone else can lead to charges of first-degree or second-degree murder, a person may also face felony charges if they are accused of accidentally causing someone’s death. Depending on the circumstances, the offenses of involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide may apply. Those who are facing these types of charges will want to understand how Illinois law applies to their situation and the potential penalties they could face if they…
There are multiple different types of illegal drugs and controlled substances that may be available to people in the United States. These substances are strictly regulated, and possession of illegal drugs can result in serious criminal charges. However, a person can be charged with an even more serious offense if they are accused of manufacturing drugs or selling controlled substances. These charges may apply if a person allegedly sold or delivered drugs to someone else, but possession of large amounts of drugs may also be seen as an indication that a person intends to sell or distribute these substances.…
Over the past several years, marijuana use has become more and more accepted throughout the United States, and multiple states, including Illinois, have made this drug legal for people to buy and use for both medical and recreational purposes. As of January 1, 2020, Illinois residents who are over the age of 21 can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis plants, 5 grams of concentrated cannabis, or 500 milligrams of products containing THC, and visitors to the state can possess half of these amounts. However, while marijuana users may no longer face drug possession charges, they may still be…