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In mid-March, communities across the United States experienced a shutdown of nonessential businesses and operations, a move made in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, which has moved through the country like wildfire. Confirmed COVID-19 cases have peaked at more than 5 million nationwide, while plans to reopen and resume business as usual move forward in some states. The coronavirus pandemic has brought uncertainty into almost every aspect of our lives, even in the criminal justice system. Many criminal cases have been backlogged since March, while new cases have been accumulating, leaving many, like you, to wonder about…
One of the things that police patrols are constantly doing is looking for signs of impaired drivers on the roads. Impaired and drunk driving are responsible for many traffic accidents and deaths each year in the United States. According to the latest data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 10,500 deaths from drunk driving accidents in this country in 2018 alone. Any type of DUI charge is serious, but charges are increased when a DUI incident results in the injury or death of another person. In these cases, the impact a DUI conviction…
Every couple of years, the U.S. Department of Education releases new regulations under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX is the federal law that strictly prohibits any type of sex or gender discrimination at any educational institution that receives federal financial funding. Recently, new regulations for Title IX have been published, which will go into effect on August 14, 2020. These regulations carry the full force of the law and provide guidance to educational institutions as to how they should respond to accusations of sexual discrimination or misconduct. This new set of regulations carries many…
Many laws throughout the country, both on the state and federal levels, were written hundreds of years ago when much of today’s technology did not exist. The United States in 2020 is a completely different world from the United States hundreds of years ago when things like the Internet and smartphones did not exist. Although these technologies have made our lives easier, they have also posed some interesting problems from a legal standpoint. One such problem is called “sexting” and is rather popular among the nation’s teenagers. According to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics, one in seven…
If you have ever seen any kind of crime drama movie or TV show, you have probably seen some sort of heated scene take place in a courtroom where the main character’s attorney fights for his or her client’s freedom by attempting to prove his or her innocence. In reality, more than 97 percent of criminal cases are resolved by plea bargains, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). Plea bargains were created in response to a number of issues faced during criminal trials, such as the length of time it takes to go through a trial…
Summer is a beautiful time in northern Illinois. Temperatures rise and allow everyone to spend time outdoors after a long and cold winter. With one of the country’s Great Lakes next door and a sprinkling of smaller lakes and rivers throughout the state, boating and other watersports are a favorite summer pastime for many Illinoisians. Spending time with family and friends often includes alcohol, which can make for a fun time, but it can also cause issues if you are not responsible. In Illinois, operating a boat and operating a car are two very comparable things from a legal standpoint.…
Traffic courts are some of the busiest courtrooms around, especially in Illinois. There are many different types of traffic citations with which you can be charged, but the most common violations in Illinois tend to be running red lights, failing to have a copy of insurance information on hand, DUI, drag racing, reckless driving, and speeding. While some of these tickets do not require an appearance in traffic court, you can request one if you feel the need to do so. Going to court may seem daunting, but knowing what to expect can help you be more prepared…
Not all crimes are created equally. Some crimes, like assault or murder, are much more serious than lesser crimes, such as theft or traffic violations. Illinois, like all states, has a system for classifying crimes. Crimes are placed into categories of felonies and misdemeanors, of which there are varying “classes” of severity. What many people do not know is that there are also certain factors that can increase or mitigate the severity of the punishment that is imposed on someone who is convicted of a criminal offense. It is important to understand the factors that are commonly used by…
In today’s world, social media plays a big part in many people’s daily lives. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are used by millions of people across the world to connect with one another. Social media is so ingrained into our society that it is important to understand the effects that these digital networking platforms play in our life. In particular, social media has created some concerns when it comes to dealing with domestic violence allegations. In certain scenarios, information or pictures that a defendant posted online could be used against him or her in a criminal case. Domestic Abuse Laws…
In many states, Illinois included, the majority of drug possession crimes are charged as felonies. Felony crimes typically carry serious penalties, including a prison sentence of at least one year. A conviction for a felony crime could affect you for the rest of your life and remain on your criminal record for years, if not permanently. This can impact your personal and professional future, making it difficult to obtain housing or employment. If you have been charged with drug possession, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney about whether requesting probation is an option for this type of drug
Being arrested for a crime can be a very traumatic experience. When you are arrested, you are handcuffed by the police officer and taken to be processed and held in jail. Your first thought when you land in jail might be, “How can I get out?” Usually, the quickest way to do that is to have a friend or family member post bail for you. Typically, weeks or even months can pass between your initial arrest and the disposition of your sentence. Posting bail allows you to be released from custody and go about your normal life until you are…
There are a variety of drug-related crimes that you can be charged with, including manufacturing, selling, and distributing illegal substances. These tend to be some of the most strictly punished drug crimes in Illinois. However, what some people may not realize is that you can also be charged with simply possessing an illicit substance. Having a drug charge conviction on your criminal record could cause problems in the future, especially when it comes to landing a job or renting an apartment. Drug laws can be complicated, which is why you should seek professional legal help from an Illinois criminal defense
Domestic violence is something that is taken very seriously in today’s world. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, more than 12 million people are victims of domestic violence each year. Being accused of domestic abuse can have a serious impact on your life. Under Illinois law, there are a number of solutions offered to family violence victims so that they can remain safe from harm. If you have been accused of domestic violence, and an order of protection (also known as a restraining order) has been issued against you, it is important to understand how what you can and…
Alcohol is a common source of trouble for teens. Underage drinking is fairly typical in the United States, but it can result in significant criminal charges and even life-threatening problems. For young adults, unintentional injuries are the most common cause of death, with the majority of those injuries related to car accidents. When you add alcohol use into the mix, the likelihood of a vehicle crash is even higher. This is why the laws pertaining to underage drinking and alcohol possession are so strict and carry such serious consequences. Teens and underage young adults can face severe punishments for violating…
If you have ever experienced a brush with the law or been arrested, it is likely you have spoken with a criminal defense attorney in your lifetime. These lawyers are arguably one of the most important people involved in any case. The right to a defense is so important to the American way of life that it was even included in the United States Constitution. The law states that any person accused of a crime will be assigned an attorney if he or she cannot afford one. Although you are not technically required to have legal representation when you face criminal…
For most Americans, having the ability to drive is a necessity, rather than a privilege. Even doing normal, everyday things such as taking children to school or running to the grocery store involves driving. Illinois laws provide for multiple reasons as to why a person could lose their driving privileges. Some violations are unrelated to driving, such as failing to pay child support or appear in court, while most deal with some sort of driving-related infraction. For the most part, the most common way people lose their driving privileges is by being arrested or convicted of driving under the influence