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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

If you have picked up any newspaper or turned on cable news in the past few days, you have likely heard that actor/comedian Bill Cosby was released from prison this week after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his 2018 sexual assault conviction. In its decision, the court wrote that Cosby’s due process rights were violated. While many legal scholars have agreed that the court made the right decision, many people across the country, including Cosby’s accusers, are outraged by the decision and Cosby’s freedom.
The Case
In 2018, a Pennsylvania jury found Cosby guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting
Continue Reading Understanding Due Process and the Bill Cosby Case

It should come as no surprise that taking property that does not lawfully belong to you is a criminal offense, and in Illinois, you could face misdemeanor or felony theft charges depending on the circumstances. However, you may be unaware that simply having stolen property in your possession can also be a crime, even if you are not the person who originally stole it. It can come as a shock to be charged with possession of stolen property, especially if you were not aware that it was stolen. In these cases, you should work with an attorney who can
Continue Reading Can I Be Arrested for Possession of Stolen Property in Illinois?

Over the last year, the use of no-knock search warrants in criminal cases has come under increased scrutiny due to the risk of harm to innocent and vulnerable people who may be on the property. In fact, many cities and police departments have started to ban the practice outright. However, the State of Illinois still allows no-knock warrants under some circumstances, and if your property is subject to a warrant, it is crucial that you understand your rights.
When Can a Search Warrant Be Issued in Illinois?
The Fourth Amendment in the U.S. Bill of Rights provides protection from unreasonable
Continue Reading Can the Police Obtain a No-Knock Search Warrant in Illinois?

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
Continue Reading What Are the Penalties for Possession of a Weapon by a Felon in Illinois?

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?