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Simplifying The Appeals Process in Illinois

 Posted on February 27, 2019 in Criminal Law

In Illinois, the appeals process allows you to ask a higher court to take a look at a legal case that has already received a verdict. So if you’ve been wrongly convicted of a crime, you have the right to appeal your case to a higher court. The appeals process is complex. In this article, we are going to take a look at the appeals process in the state of Illinois.

The Definition of an Appeal

Put simply, an appeal is the act of asking a higher court to reconsider a previous conviction or judge’s ruling. Generally, appeals must be based on some legal error that occurred in the original case in order to hold any water. The appellant (the defendant from the previous case being appealed), must prove that legal mistakes caused them to receive an unfair or biased trial that ultimately resulted in an unfair conviction or sentence.

The Process

When am appeal is submitted, the court examines the records from the initial court proceedings from the case being appealed. They will also consider briefs written by both sides that explain the specific issues at question and why there is an alleged violation of the appellant’s rights. The appeals court may also hear oral arguments from both sides during the process.

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Avoid a Car Accident This Winter with These Tips

 Posted on February 20, 2019 in Personal Injury

Winters in Illinois can be pretty harsh, as anyone who lives here can tell you. The simple act of driving to and from work each day can be dangerous due to the harsh road conditions we often experience. Being involved in a car accident can lead to physical injuries, as well as personal injury claims. It’s important to take precautions and be proactive about avoiding accidents on the road during the winter months. In this article, we will offer some tips to avoid a car accident in Illinois this winter.

Take Things Slow

When in doubt, slow down. This may seem obvious, but speeding is one of the primary causes of auto accidents in the winter. Icy road conditions make it more difficult for your car to stop and turn effectively. Be sure to take that into account when on the road and take things slower than you would in the summer months.

Focus on Car Safety

Making sure your vehicle is prepared for winter driving conditions is also essential to protect yourself from auto accidents. Check your fluid levels regularly so you don’t run, get an oil change if you’re due for one, and swap out your normal tires for winter tires. It’s also a good idea to keep some winter essentials with you at all times – including a blanket, boots, jumper cables, flashlight, and ice scraper.

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Do I Need To Hire an Attorney? Ask Yourself 3 Questions

 Posted on February 13, 2019 in Criminal Law

When faced with a legal issue, many people ask themselves whether or not they need to hire an attorney. This can be a tough decision for many. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when you’re considering whether or not to hire an attorney.

Can You Afford Not to Hire an Attorney?

The first thing on everyone’s mind when considering whether or not to work with an attorney is money. How much does it cost to hire a lawyer? Is it affordable? The answers to these questions will vary based on the legal situation you’re dealing with and the lawyer in question. However, if you decide to go with a DIY approach and not hire an attorney, you may end up spending more over the long-term. If you mess up a form filing, you’ll have to pay to file it again. If you need to appear in court and you don’t have an attorney to do it on your behalf, you may need to miss work and forgo earned income. Can you afford that?

Who is Going to Defend Your Rights?

When facing a criminal charge or a civil suit, everyone in the process has their own agenda. Many people get duped into thinking the police are on their side. In reality, the police are doing everything they can to build their case. But when you hire an attorney, they are legally bound to protect your rights at every turn.

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Tips for Landlords to Avoid Security Deposit Disputes

 Posted on February 06, 2019 in Civil law

One of the most common points of dispute among tenants and landlords is the security deposit. However, many of these disputes can be prevented with better communication. In this article, we are going to offer up a few tips for landlords to avoid security deposit disputes in Illinois, and what to do if your tenant takes legal action against you for a security deposit dispute.

Create a Detailed Move-Out Letter

Providing your tenant with a detailed move-out letter will help ensure that you and your tenant are on the same page as far as move-out expectations. This can also be shown in a potential small claims suit to demonstrate that you listed potential areas of deduction.

Use a Landlord-Tenant Checklist

A landlord-tenant checklist is a useful itemized list of all the things in the unit that need to be fixed (along with associated costs). You can send a carbon copy to your tenant for their records after the inspection.

Record the Inspection

Another tip is to videotape and/or photograph your move-out inspection. This will offer objective evidence of any items that need to be fixed that you can bring up in court if need be.

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What to Know About Illinois Breach of Contract Law

 Posted on January 30, 2019 in Civil law

Each of us enters into several contracts every day – whether we realize it or not. Contracts can be verbal or written. Contracts can also be breached, which can lead to a host of additional legal issues. In this article, we are going to talk about what you need to know about Illinois breach of contract law.

Common Types of Contracts

There are many different types of contracts that one could enter into in the state of Illinois. Here are a few of the most common types of contracts:

  • Business-Employee Contracts
  • Non-Compete/Non-Disclosure
  • Business-to-Business Contracts
  • Utilities Contracts
  • Purchase of Goods or Services
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Rental & Lease Agreements

Forming a Contract

Under Illinois law, a contract is entered into when three criteria are met. Here are those three criteria that need to be met in order to form a contract:

How to Get Your License Back After a DUI

 Posted on January 23, 2019 in DUI

There are many legal ramifications of a drunk driving charge, one potential consequence is that you may lose your license. Thankfully, there are actions you can take to get your license back if you find yourself in this situation. In this article, we are going to talk about how to get your license back after a DUI charge in Illinois.

License Revocation Process

If you’ve had your license revoked because of one or more drunk driving charges in Illinois, you can get your license reinstated. The bad news is that it can take a lot of time and effort.

First you will have to request an informal hearing with a Secretary of State hearing officer, who will check to see if you’ve had a clean driving record during your license revocation. This is also the time to plead your case to the hearing officer as to why you should have your license reinstated.

The next step is to undergo a drug & alcohol evaluation and potentially a treatment program based on the results of that evaluation. You will also need to prove your financial responsibility by obtaining car insurance (which will likely be a high-risk policy).

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3 Questions to Ask an Attorney Before Hiring Them

 Posted on January 16, 2019 in Criminal Law

When you’re in need of legal help, you want to make sure you find a lawyer that’s right for you. In this article, we are going to outline a few questions you should ask your attorney before you hire them.

What are Your Credentials & Experience?

The first and most basic thing you need to confirm is that your attorney has the necessary credentials and experience. Ask where they went to law school and how long they’ve been practicing law. A young associate who just graduated from law school last year is going to have a lot less experience than an attorney with 20 years under their belt.

Have You Handled Cases Like This Before?

It’s important to hire an attorney who has experience with cases like yours. There are many different areas of law and most attorneys are not experts in every single sub-specialty. Instead, most lawyers focus on a few practice areas. You want to make sure you hire a lawyer who specializes in your area of law. So if you’ve been arrested for a drug crime, ask your attorney if they’ve handled drug cases before. If they haven’t, find another attorney with experience in that area of law.

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Explaining DUI Aggravating & Mitigating Factors

 Posted on January 09, 2019 in DUI

Illinois DUI law is a complex topic with a variety of factors at play in any given DUI charge. In this article, we are going to explain the various aggravating and mitigating factors you may face when charged with a DUI in the state of Illinois.

What are Aggravating Factors?

When you get a DUI in Illinois, there are various factors that will be considered before you are officially charged. These factors can contribute to the level of DUI charge you receive. Aggravating factors typically lead to a harsher DUI charge. These factors include:

  • This is your third+ DUI arrest
  • The DUI event occurred while driving a school bus or a vehicle for-hire carrying passengers
  • The DUI event resulted in great bodily harm.
  • The DUI crime was committed without a valid driver’s license, without vehicle liability insurance or while revoked or suspended for a previous DUI, reckless homicide or for leaving the scene of a crash with injury.
  • This is your second+ DUI committed while transporting a child, or a first offense DUI with a child in which the child was injured in an accident.

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When To Call a Lawyer When You’re Pulled Over

 Posted on January 02, 2019 in Criminal Law

Getting pulled over by a police office is a nerve-wracking experience for most. Many people don’t know how they should act and aren’t aware of their rights. In this article, we’re going to talk about when you should call a lawyer when you’ve been pulled over.

Do You Need to Call a Lawyer

Obviously, not every pull over event requires the help of an attorney. If an office pulls you over for a broken tail light, writes you a ticket, and sends you on your way – it’s probably best to just pay the ticket and move on. But if you find yourself in a more serious situation, such as being tested for drunk driving, then you need to seriously consider involving an attorney.

What’s the Right Time?

If you’ve been charged with a crime, you have the right to consult with an attorney. But when exactly should you ask to speak with a lawyer? The short answer is – as soon as possible. An attorney can help you understand your rights and prevent you from saying or doing something that may help the state’s case against you. If an officer places you under arrest, you should keep quiet and ask politely to speak with your attorney before giving the officer any additional information.

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Qualities to Look for in a Criminal or Civil Attorney

 Posted on December 27, 2018 in Criminal Law

When you’re in need of an attorney, you want to make sure you hire someone you can trust. But with so many lawyers, it can be tough to decide who is a good fit. In this article, we are going to talk about some qualities to look out for in a great criminal or civil attorney.


Experience goes a long way when it comes to representing clients in criminal and civil matters. An attorney who has been practicing law for the past decade is going to have a lot more knowledge of how the process works, as well as the idiosyncrasies of local prosecutors and judges, than a lawyer fresh out of law school. Additionally, make sure that your attorney practices the type of law that you need. Most private attorneys specialize in a specific area of law. So if you’ve been charged with a crime, look for a criminal lawyer.


You also want to make sure that your attorney is well-respected – both by their clients and their peers. Check the attorney’s website and see if they have testimonials from previous clients and other attorneys. Another great place to look for reviews is the attorney’s third-party online listings, such as their Google business listing, Yelp, Yellowpages, etc.

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