Blog Authors

Latest from Hartsfield Law Blog

It can be overwhelming to find law enforcement officers standing outside of your home, holding a search warrant when you do not even expect it. However, you must remember that you have rights. Understanding your rights if faced with a search warrant can help ensure that your rights are upheld. An Illinois lawyer can help guide you through the steps you should take if you find yourself in this challenging position.
Definition of Search Warrants in Illinois
A search warrant is a legal document issued by a judge that authorizes law enforcement officers to search a specific location, such
Continue Reading Protecting Your Rights When Facing a Search Warrant

Facing theft charges can be an incredibly overwhelming experience. The consequences of a conviction can have far-reaching impacts on your life, including potential fines, probation, or even jail time. However, it is crucial to understand that you have legal rights and options to defend yourself against these charges. An Illinois lawyer can help you explore potential legal strategies for fighting theft charges.
Challenging the Evidence
One of the most effective strategies in defending against theft charges is to challenge the evidence presented by the prosecution. In Illinois, the burden of proof lies with the state, and they must prove their
Continue Reading Legal Strategies for Fighting Theft Charges in Illinois

A DUI charge can cause chaos in your life in an instant. Many drunk driving arrests rely heavily on breathalyzer readings to establish blood alcohol content (BAC) levels. However, these devices are imperfect and mishandling results happens often. An Illinois lawyer can help you to contest questionable breath tests in court and whether doing so aligns with your best legal interests.
How Do Breath Tests Work and Why Should I Challenge Them?
Breath analyzers estimate BAC through an infrared spectroscopic analysis of your breath. But the reliability depends on proper device calibration, testing protocols, and operator skill. Procedural deviations could
Continue Reading Should You Dispute Breath Test Results For an Illinois DUI?

The sex offender registry is a list of people who have been convicted of certain sex crimes. The list is published online, and anyone can search it to see if someone has been convicted of a sex crime. As you can imagine, being included on the sex offender registry can have serious consequences for a person’s reputation and future opportunities.
When someone is listed on the Illinois sex offender registry, they must comply with certain restrictions and follow a specific set of rules. For example, an individual accused of a sex crime involving a minor may be prohibited from
Continue Reading Will I Be on the Sex Offender Registry if I Am Accused of a Sex Crime? 

Hydrocodone, or Vicodin, is considered a Schedule II controlled substance in Illinois, meaning it has a high potential for abuse and dependence. Any possession, sale, manufacture, or distribution of this drug without proper authorization is strictly prohibited by law and can lead to severe penalties. Many people assume that they cannot face severe penalties for a substance that is frequently prescribed by physicians. However, a criminal conviction for a drug crime such as possession of hydrocodone can have life-changing consequences.
If you or someone you love are currently facing criminal charges for possessing or selling hydrocodone, it is important to
Continue Reading Illinois Drug Charges Involving Hydrocodone

When someone is arrested for drunk driving, they are often required to undergo blood alcohol testing. The blood alcohol limit in Illinois is .08 percent. If someone’s BAC is above this limit, they will be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). However, blood alcohol tests are not always accurate. Various problems with the administration, storage, and analysis of a blood sample can lead to unreliable results. In some cases, these issues can lead to acquittal or dismissal of the DUI charges.
Problems with Blood Alcohol Testing for DUI
Blood tests are used to determine whether someone is intoxicated and
Continue Reading Blood Alcohol Test Inaccuracies Can Lead to Acquittal or Dismissal 

Rumors, television crime dramas, and the media have perpetuated many different myths and misunderstandings about the criminal justice system. When someone is arrested on suspicion of a crime, well-meaning but ill-informed friends and family often further complicate the situation by sharing inaccurate information. In this blog, we will explore some of the most common falsehoods about police, arrests, and the criminal justice system.
Myth: Cooperating with Police May Lead to a Lower Sentence
If you have ever been interrogated by police or watched a TV show depicting an interrogation, you may have seen police offering to “help” the defendant
Continue Reading 4 Myths and Misconceptions About Criminal Cases in Illinois

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?