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Countries around the world vary when it comes to the legal drinking age. In some countries, such as Germany, the legal drinking age is 16. In other countries — around 61 percent of countries around the globe — have a legal drinking age of 18 or 19 years old. The legal drinking age for anyone in any of the 50 states is 21. If a minor is caught drinking before they are 21, they face possible criminal charges, a driver’s license suspension or revocation, and expensive fines. In Illinois, an adult who furnishes alcohol to a minor or allows minors
In today’s world of electronics, credit card fraud is easier than ever for people to accomplish. According to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) yearly report, more than 4.7 million consumer issues were reported to the Commission in 2020, with the most commonly reported issue being identity theft. Credit card fraud is a type of identity theft and is one of the most frequently reported types of identity theft, making up about 30 percent of all identity theft reports to the FTC. Most people understand what consequences come from a credit card fraud situation, but many are not aware that there…
If you have ever watched a movie or TV show dealing with the subject of crime, chances are you have heard someone try to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, which is also sometimes shortened to simply “pleading insanity.” This is often an easy subject to dramatize, making it a prime subject for show business, but this idea actually also has legitimate merit in the legal world, though under specific circumstances. In some situations, pleading not guilty by reason of insanity is a possible way a person could be held not criminally responsible for a crime, but only…
One of the tools that the state of Illinois uses to find and deter those who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is by conducting sobriety checkpoints. The Supreme Court of the United States has held that sobriety checkpoints do not inherently violate any constitutional rights, as long as they are conducted in a legal manner. In Illinois, this means the time, date and location of the sobriety checkpoint should be announced to the public prior to it taking place and signs and/or lights should be used to designate the checkpoints. Being pulled over for DUI can…
Since its inception, the United States has done things a little differently. When it comes to gun laws, the country as a whole is unique. The inherent right to gun ownership is written into the country’s constitution, though each individual state has the right to regulate the possession, use, sale, purchase, and/or transfer of firearms within their boundaries. While some states are laxer with their firearm laws, the state of Illinois tends to have rather strict laws concerning firearms. In particular, not everyone is legally permitted to own a firearm in the state of Illinois. Being caught in possession…
Each year, the FBI collects important data on hate crimes that occur around the country in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Last week, the FBI released the 2019 hate crime statistics, the most recent hate crime data available for the U.S. According to that data, there were 65 hate crimes that were reported to have taken place in the state of Illinois in 2019. In recent years, lawmakers and law enforcement agencies across the country have put more money and resources into the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes, which has led to a big push to…
We all know what a construction zone looks like — orange cones everywhere, blinking lights on reflective signs, men and women in hardhats working on the scene. Most states have specific traffic laws that must be followed when driving through a construction zone, including Illinois. In most cases, these laws are more strict than typical traffic laws. This is because these laws were put into place to protect the construction workers themselves, and also the drivers on the road. The most common construction zone violations are speeding violations, which are taken seriously by the state. According to the Illinois Department…
For every crime, there is an equivalent range of acceptable penalties that comes along with it when you are convicted. There are different types of felony and misdemeanor crimes that vary in severity, from a low-level Class C misdemeanor that carries up to 30 days in jail, to the most serious charge of them all, a Class X felony charge, which carries between six and 30 years in prison. Sentencing guidelines for crimes that are committed in Illinois vary and offer a range for which sentences are considered acceptable, meaning not everyone who is convicted of the same crime will…
Driving is one of those privileges that we do not realize is a privilege until we are no longer permitted to use it. Driving is necessary for many people in their everyday lives, but there are many ways you can lose your driving privileges in the state of Illinois. From not paying fines and fees, to avoiding paying court-ordered child support, a driver’s license suspension can come in many forms. However, the most common reason a person’s driver’s license is suspended or revoked is because of a DUI arrest and/or conviction. In Illinois, you can have your license suspended…
Cell phones have proven to provide many benefits and much convenience, but as they become more prominent in our daily lives, they have also become more prone to have issues. The past couple of years have shown an upward trend in the number of cases of distracted driving across the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), around 2,800 people died in distraction-related accidents while an estimated 400,000 people were injured in distracted-related driving accidents in 2018, the latest year for which data is available. In recent years, more states have passed laws making cell phone…
It can be a scary experience when you or a loved one has been charged with a crime. There are many parts of the criminal justice system that are confusing, overwhelming, and at times just downright frustrating. Much of this frustration and anxiety stems from the initial uncertainty of the outcome of the situation and how it will affect the rest of your life. Certain criminal offenses carry stigmas with them and a conviction on your record could mar it forever. Some crimes even result in consequences that could impact you for the rest of your life, such as if…
With a legendary athlete in the news recently due to a serious car accident and with him having a history of being charged with reckless driving, it is an opportune moment to discuss this further, whether Tiger Woods is charged with any traffic violations or not. Overall, it is easy to shrug off most traffic violations as minor, but the truth is many of these violations can be considered from within the purview of criminal law; in fact, certain traffic violations, if serious enough to result in imprisonment, can result in either a felony or a misdemeanor. One of…
It is very scary to see the lights of a police car and hear the siren any time you are on the road. When the officer approaches your window and starts asking questions, it is natural to be nervous. Law enforcement officers are often overzealous when they are trying to make an arrest, and they may say you are legally obligated to perform certain tasks. One of these might be submitting to a breathalyzer test. So, can you refuse the breathalyzer test? You can, but there are consequences you may face. Regardless of the choice that you make at…
In the state of Illinois, there are hundreds of crimes that you could be accused of committing, ranging from petty traffic violations to serious felony offenses that could change your life forever. Depending on the severity of your case, the prosecutor will determine what kind of evidence he or she needs to build a case against you. Evidentiary items, such as specific objects, weapons, or even DNA are typically taken from the scene where the crime was alleged to have taken place. However, in many cases, the police may opt to search your home or even your vehicle if you…
In recent years, the term “criminal justice reform” has been touted day in and day out as something that is desperately needed across the country. Many groups have been calling for major changes to multiple elements of the criminal justice system, though no such law had been passed until now. Recently, both the Illinois House of Representatives and Illinois Senate passed HB3653 and sent the legislation off to the desk of Illinois State Governor J.B. Pritzker for a final signature. HB3653 contains many new laws that help those who have been charged with or arrested for a crime. Cash…
When it comes to the people responsible for a crime, in some cases, it can be more than just the offender who is held responsible for the commission of the crime. This is the basic idea behind the concept of criminal accountability. In the state of Illinois, it is legal for a person to be arrested and charged for simply knowing about a crime that someone else committed. While this may seem unfair, the law of accountability has actually helped Illinois law enforcement with the prosecution of criminal organizations and gang members. However, the law of accountability can also unfairly…