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How a DUI Charge Can Impact Your Auto Insurance Rates

 Posted on May 08, 2019 in DUI

It’s a well-known fact that an Illinois DUI charge affects your driving privileges. But what most people don’t understand is the impact a DUI offense can have on their auto insurance costs.

After a DUI Charge

After receiving a DUI charge, it will likely take your insurance company 6 to 12 months to check your record and make arrangements to cancel your policy. Once your insurance carrier finds out about your charge, the average rates for auto insurance will double compared to preferred carrier rates.

Your insurance company can’t immediately cancel your policy after becoming aware of your DWI arrest. They must first give you notice of cancellation. This will give you a short amount of time to find another insurance company.

The degree (or level) of DWI makes no difference to the non-standard or high risk insurance companies in terms of increased costs. DWIs have become so common that some carriers do not charge as much for just one DWI charge. But, a DWI charge that is “reduced” to a careless or reckless driving offense can increase your auto insurance.

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What to do When Police are Fishing for Incriminating Information

 Posted on May 01, 2019 in Criminal Law

Recently we had a client who was accused of inappropriate conduct with the underage daughter of an ex girlfriend. S/He learned of the accusation when the police called him and wanted him to come in. This IS a trap. I’ll explain below.

Luckily for the client S/He contacted our firm. We went with him to the police interview. The client brought cash so that he could bond himself out. After waiting in line to finally talk to the police, Tim was able to check in.

The conversation went like this:

  • “My client is here to turn himself in, Detective X wanted him to come in.”
  • “What is he charged with?”
  • “He isn’t charged yet. “
  • “What did he do?”
  • “Nothing, that is why we don’t know why the Detective wants to talk to him.”

The officer calls back and two detectives come out. We go into a conference room. I introduce myself to the Detectives, get their names and badge numbers, and inform them that my client is asserting his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. The Detectives acknowledged their understanding of this, took my client into custody, and began the booking process.

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What to Know About The 3 Most Common Field Sobriety Tests

 Posted on April 24, 2019 in DUI

Field sobriety tests are a common tool used by police officers to gather evidence against a person they believe was driving under the influence. Based on the results of these tests, the officer makes a determination as to whether or not to arrest the driver for DUI. That being said, these tests are not always a great indication of a person’s intoxication. In this article, we are going to talk about the three most common field sobriety tests and what you need to know about each of them.

One Leg Stand

This is perhaps the simplest field sobriety test. The officer asks the driver to raise a foot about six inches from the ground and count out loud while keeping your hands by your sides. This test is meant to examine a person’s ability to balance – which can be impaired as a person becomes intoxicated. If you put your foot back down, flail your arms for balance, or sway your body, the officer may take that as an indication of intoxication.

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Case Victory: DuPage County Small Claims Court

 Posted on April 17, 2019 in Civil law

Our firm just won a small claims case in DuPage County. The client had hired a painter. The painter was claiming that he was never paid. Our client said that the painter had been paid for the work to be done and that the work was unfinished and not up to snuff. Small claims cases in DuPage County are for disputes less than $10,000.

The painter represented himself, this is known as going Pro Se. While not as bad a decision as performing your own surgery without training, it is still a bad decision for most people.

In the small claims court the Judge can relax the rules of evidence somewhat and can provide some help to a Pro Se litigant. The painter was unable to establish any sort of argument or to tell the court what he was after. His wife was somewhat more helpful to his case.

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Tips for Applying to College with a Criminal Record

 Posted on April 10, 2019 in Criminal Law

Having a criminal charge on your record can make life difficult – especially for young people who are trying to get into college and apply for jobs. But having a criminal record is not a death sentence that prevents you from going to college. In this article, we are going to offer up a few tips for applying to college when you have a criminal record.

Don’t Try to Fool the Admissions Office

Honesty is the best policy when it comes to applying for a job or college with a criminal record. If you are asked on an application form or in an interview whether or not you’ve been convicted of a crime, don’t lie. Tell the truth. It is extremely easy for them to do a background check to see if you have been convicted of a crime. If they find out you lied about it, that’s a guarantee that you won’t be accepted.

Don’t Share More than you Need to

While you should always be honest when asked about your criminal history on an application, you don’t need to share every single detail. If you aren’t asked about your criminal history, there’s no need for you to bring it up.

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3 Hidden Issues of “Cheap” Divorces That Can Cost You

 Posted on April 03, 2019 in Family Law

Money is at the top of mind for most people when they are looking to hire an attorney. This is especially true in divorce cases, with many clients concerned with asset division and the like. As a result, many people tend to gravitate toward the cheapest legal option. But that can often end up costing you in the long term. In this article, we are going to discuss a few hidden issues with “cheap” divorces that can end up costing you more than you think in the long run.

Hidden Fees & Costs

If you see an advertisement for a “$99 Divorce” you need to be aware of other hidden costs and fees that are not included in that cost. For example, you may need to pay court filing fees, and costs for additional paperwork that may come up during the course of the proceedings. These fees can add up and are often not included in the advertised price.

Lack of Experience

Many attorneys or firms that advertise low cost divorce options do not have a lot of experience working on divorce cases. Sometimes a law clerk will be assigned to handle the vast majority of your paperwork, with an actual attorney only looking at the finalized documents for a few minutes before signing.

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3 Tips to Ensure a Successful Court Appearance

 Posted on March 27, 2019 in Criminal Law

Appearing in court after being charged with a crime is a nerve-wracking thing for many people. But there are proactive steps you can take to make the process smooth and simple. In this article, we are going to offer a few tips for making sure your court appearance goes as well as it possibly can.

Consult with an Attorney

The best thing you can do for yourself prior to a court appearance is to consult with an attorney. A lawyer can examine the details surrounding your case and provide you with insight and counsel. Remember – your attorney’s number one job is to protect your best interests and defend your rights. They will also be able to walk you through the logistics of a court appearance – where to show up, what paperwork needs to be filed, etc.

Be Careful of What you Post to Social Media

Anything you post to Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platform is admissible in court. Keep that in mind when posting and sharing online. Avoid making comments about your case completely and don’t do anything stupid.

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Defining & Defending Harassment Crimes in Illinois

 Posted on March 20, 2019 in Criminal Law

Harassment is a serious crime in the state of Illinois, but there are a lot of nuances and complexities when it comes to defining harassment. The focus of this article is harassment crimes in Illinois. We’ll discuss the types of harassment and how to deal with a harassment charge.

Defining Harassment Under Illinois Law

In Illinois, Harassment is defined under 720 ILCS 135. In general, harassment is defined as “intentional acts which can cause someone to be worried, anxious, or uncomfortable.” There are a few different types of harassment under state law including: harassment by telephone, and harassment by electronic communications.

Harassment by Telephone

You can be charged with harassment by telephone if you use a phone to do any of the following:

  • Place obscene calls with the intent to offend.
  • Place a call with the intent to threaten, abuse, or harass someone.
  • Place repeated calls to a person with the intent to harass.

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A Guide to Spousal Maintenance in Illinois

 Posted on March 13, 2019 in Family Law

There are many elements of any given divorce case – from child custody to asset division. In this article, we will guide you through the spousal maintenance process in Illinois and highlight some of the things you need to be aware of when it comes to this topic.

Defining Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance is essential a way of distributing marital property assets in a divorce case. Oftentimes in a divorce case, one party makes more (or has the ability to make more) than the other party. During a marriage, this is not typically an issue, as both parties can share these assets. However, during a divorce this can be a huge point of contention.

Temporary vs. Permanent

There are two basic types of spousal maintenance in Illinois – temporary and permanent. Temporary spousal maintenance is typically ordered as a temporary measure during the divorce proceedings while a more permanent solution is found. Permanent spousal maintenance is a long-term agreement that governs the future finances of both parties after the divorce.

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Fighting Drugged Driving Charges in Illinois

 Posted on March 06, 2019 in DUI

Many people think DUI indicates that a person was driving under the influence of alcohol. However, the law is broader than that and can encompass people who are under the influence of alcohol, and/or drugs. In this article, we are going to discuss a lesser known type of DUI charge in Illinois – the drugged driving charge.

What is a Drugged Driving Charge?

Drugged driving is a type of DUI that indicates the driver was under the influence of prescription or illegal drugs while driving. In Illinois (according to 625 ILCS 5/11-501), a person can be charged with a DUI by doing any of the following:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol
  • Driving under the influence of prescription drugs
  • Driving under the influence of illegal drugs
  • Driving under the influence of any intoxicating compound

Proving Drugged Driving Charges

When it comes to DUIs involving drugs, there is a distinction made between driving under the influence of illegal drugs, and driving under the influence of prescription drugs. In order to convict a person of an illegal drug DUI charge, the state simply needs to prove that the defendant was under the influence of illegal drugs at the time of driving.

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