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Most of our readers in Illinois have probably received a traffic ticket of some kind. Speeding tickets are common, but so are others, like tickets for broken turn signals, taillights or headlights. When people get these tickets, they usually just pay the fine and move on. However, if you get too many traffic tickets your driving privileges could be in jeopardy. And those fines can certainly add up. So, what can you do?
Our readers may not know that, in some cases, you can defend against traffic tickets by going to court. That’s right – a traffic ticket isn’t just
Continue Reading Try to avoid fines or suspensions by contesting traffic tickets

If you are charged with a DUI, you probably have many questions about the penalties and how a DUI conviction can impact your future.
Illinois takes DUI charges seriously. Potential penalties can include fines, jail time and the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device.
Additionally, a DUI conviction can affect your professional and personal lives. You could lose your job or a professional license. Your reputation among family and friends might be forever tarnished.
Therefore, you likely want to know if a DUI conviction will stay on your record forever. Unfortunately, Illinois law does not allow you to expunge
Continue Reading How long will a DUI stay on my record in Illinois?

No-knock warrants are part of a controversial practice that allows law enforcement to enter a property without knocking or announcing themselves first. They are used most commonly in cases involving drugs, weapons or other evidence that could be easily destroyed or pose a danger to the officers.
However, they also raise concerns about the violation of privacy, property and safety rights of the occupants, especially if the warrant is executed at the wrong address or based on faulty information.
Knock-and-announce rule
Ordinarily, the knock-and-announce rule requires officers to give notice before making a forced entry, unless there are exigent circumstances
Continue Reading Are no-knock warrants legal in Illinois?

When a person is arrested for any reason in Illinois, it is natural for them to think about the potential consequences they might face if they are convicted. Depending on the charges, that can include incarceration, fines and other penalties. What they might not consider is the negative impact a criminal record might have as they try to achieve various objectives in life.
Even though people who have been convicted of a crime might have served their debt to society, completed the requirements based on the trial or a plea bargain and want to move forward, there are still obstacles
Continue Reading Can a criminal conviction impact my future employment?

Illinois has strict regulations on the possession, sale and use of firearms and other weapons, and violating them can result in serious consequences. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common weapons-related charges.
Unlawful use of weapons
This offense covers a wide range of prohibited conduct involving weapons, such as carrying or possessing a firearm without a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card or a concealed carry license, carrying or possessing a firearm in a prohibited place (such as a school, church or public park) or carrying or possessing a firearm with intent to use it unlawfully
Continue Reading What are Illinois weapons offenses?

The term, “target letter” is having a moment, even though, outside of criminal defense and prosecutor circles, most people had never heard of it. However, for those facing potential federal drug crimes, this may give you hope that you will get a heads up prior to being indicted. Unfortunately, that may not be true in your case.
What are target letters?
A target letter is sent from the United States Department of Justice that informs someone that they are the “target” of a potential criminal prosecution. These letters are usually sent before a federal indictment, and they give the target
Continue Reading Will I get a target letter for federal drug crimes?

Specific measures are taken to secure and protect personal property. Whether it is in a wallet, purse, pocket, vehicle or home, individuals in Illinois and elsewhere believe that their property is safe. Thus, when property is taken or has gone missing, many presume that it was stolen. As a result, a person could face allegations of theft.
Because the penalties associated with a theft can be harsh, it is imperative that the accused understands the charges they face. How the crime is classified could impact the defense action one takes. Thus, exploring the differences between a robbery and burglary is
Continue Reading What’s the difference between a burglary and a robbery?

Possessing a stolen firearm is a serious criminal charge that comes with major potential penalties.
The crime of possession of a stolen firearm in Illinois is a class 2 felony. If you are convicted of this charge, you could face between three and seven years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. While probation is also a possible penalty, receiving a sentence of only probation, or outright dismissal, is challenging and requires you to put on a strong criminal defense.
Potential defenses
You may think that you have no defenses available to you, especially if the prosecution has
Continue Reading Are you charged with possessing a stolen firearm?

Generally speaking, you cannot be deported simply for being charged with a criminal offense.
This makes sense. Lawful permanent residents and other non-citizens who live in the Springfield area have the same rights as anyone else accused of a crime in Illinois’ courts. They are innocent until proven guilty.
However, certain types of criminal convictions can lead to deportation. The scary thing is that these rules even apply to lawful permanent residents, commonly called green-card holders. The rules apply even if a person has lived in the country since their childhood.
In the immigration courts, some criminal offenses are more
Continue Reading I’ve been charged with a crime. Will I get deported?

Some people who were behind the wheel in a fatal vehicular accident can face homicide charges. Under Illinois law, these cases typically involve charges of involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide. While these are serious charges, they fall short of a first-degree murder charge.
That’s why it was somewhat surprising to read that an Illinois man was recently charged with first-degree murder after a fatal drag-racing accident.
According to news reports, the man was involved in a crash with another vehicle in Marion County on May 4 when he reportedly ran a red light. His car crashed into another vehicle that
Continue Reading Illinois man charged with first-degree murder in fatal drag-racing crash

If a person is convicted of driving under the influence in Illinois, the penalties can be significant. They can vary based on several factors, including the driver’s blood alcohol concentration, how many previous DUI convictions the person has and whether anyone else was injured or killed in an accident while the driver was under the influence.
In addition to these penalties, a DUI conviction can affect the driver’s employment opportunities, affect their ability to obtain insurance and affect their personal relationships.
Potential penalties
In Illinois, if a person is convicted of DUI they can face license suspension, several thousand dollars
Continue Reading DUI license suspension in Illinois

In Illinois, when people are arrested, the evidence is obviously a critical part of whether they will be convicted or acquitted. As they craft a defense, they might think about their situation and if there is a rational explanation for what they have been accused of doing. There are other strategies that can be effective as part of a legal defense. Calling into question the justification for the law enforcement investigation is one way to combat a criminal case.
The line of legality regarding marijuana has been somewhat confusing as more and more states are legalizing it. For those under
Continue Reading New marijuana law could protect people from vehicle searches

Generally, motorists in Illinois want to drive responsibly, but the unfortunate fact is that when a person chooses to drive drunk, they put other motorists and passengers at risk of death and injury even if they do not mean to do so.
Currently, there are enhanced penalties when a drunk driver causes a fatal accident. A bill introduced this legislative session, referred to as “Lindsey’s Law,” would make these penalties even harsher.
Current law
Under current Illinois law, if a person drives under the influence of alcohol and causes a crash that results in the death of one person, they
Continue Reading SB1405 addresses fatal drunk driving crashes that cause injury

Not all drug crimes are committed with nefarious intent or as mere money-grabs. Oftentimes addiction drives a person to commit a drug crime.
If so, is it better to simply lock away the user and throw away the key? Or should a person who is addicted to drugs and subsequently commits a drug crime be given the chance of rehabilitation?
Drug courts in Illinois
Illinois recognizes that many people who commit drug crimes need help more than they need to be punished. For this reason, there are drug court programs that some people might qualify for, as an alternative to
Continue Reading Some drug offenders need help, not a prison sentence

For many Illinois residents, a traffic ticket is little more than an inconvenience. They get the ticket, pay the fine and forget about it.
For others, a traffic ticket can be a much more serious matter. For a driver who has a lot of points on their record, a new traffic ticket could mean having their driver’s license suspended.
What is the points system?
The Illinois points system is quite complex. In this blog post, we will give a general overview.
After certain traffic offenses, a driver will have their license immediately suspended or even revoked. Many others have no
Continue Reading Traffic tickets and the Illinois points system

When you think of someone committing a crime, you probably naturally assume it is a violent crime.
While that may not always be true, there are reasons our minds automatically think of crimes as violent. They are the types of crimes society condemns the most and the crimes that usually make the news.
However, what exactly classifies a crime in Illinois as a violent crime? There is no specific legal definition, but a violent crime is generally one that involves physical harm to someone or a threat to physically harm them.
Examples of violent crimes
One of the most common
Continue Reading What makes a crime a violent crime?