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Recent Blog Posts

Shoplifting Penalties and Defenses In Illinois

 Posted on June 19, 2020 in Criminal Law

Shoplifting from a big box store can seem like a victimless crime, but the crime of retail theft can have significant penalties in Illinois. Whether you slip some electronics in your purse or you alter a price tag to get an item for cheaper, it doesn’t take much for you to face stiff shoplifting charges. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at the penalties for shoplifting, and we cover some of the common defenses to the crime in Illinois.

Shoplifting Penalties In Illinois

We dive into the full extent of shoplifting penalties on this page, but we’ll cover a simplified version on this page as well. Basically, your shoplifting charge and potential penalties depends on the value of the goods you are alleged to have stolen. The bar for charges to be upgraded to a felony is also quite low in Illinois. In fact, we’re one of only six states that bring felony charges for instances where less than $500 worth of merchandise is stolen.

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Injunctions & Temporary Restraining Orders In Illinois

 Posted on June 12, 2020 in Criminal Law

One of the more powerful tools in a civil suit is the injunction, but it’s not without risk. Moving forward with an injunction without the right evidence can backfire and tank your case. Used effectively, an injunction can provide you immediate relief until a final decision is rendered by the judge. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at injunctions and temporary restraining orders, and how we can use them during your civil suit to help win your case.

What Is An Injunction?

At the most basic level, an injunction is a court order during a civil suit that prevents the defendant from doing something or requires them to take a specific action. The former is much more common than the latter, but they can both be used depending on the specifics of your case. Injunctions in Illinois come in three different forms. There are:

  • Temporary Restraining Orders
  • Preliminary Injunctions
  • Permanent Injunctions

Temporary restraining orders (TRO) are the most common form of injunction because of how immediate they can be instituted. They are often instituted in order to maintain the current status of a relationship until more legal steps can be taken. We find that this makes more sense if we use an example or two.

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Your Rights In Illinois Traffic Court

 Posted on June 05, 2020 in Criminal Law

If you are pulled over for a traffic violation, you may end up with a citation or criminal charge depending on the circumstances. Lower level violations like speeding or rolling a stop sign typically only result in a citation that may not even require you to show up in court, but more serious traffic violations like drunk or reckless driving can result in your arrest.

If you are considering fighting your citation or arrest, it’s important that you know your rights in traffic court. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at some of the rights guaranteed to defendants in Illinois traffic court.

You Have A Right To…

If you are considering contesting your citation or arrest in traffic court, you have the right to:

  1. An Attorney – Under Illinois law, you have the right to have an attorney by your side if your traffic violation carries jail time as a potential penalty. Even misdemeanors can carry potential imprisonment, so you have the right to hire an attorney to defend your case. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you, although you may need to prove financial hardship before a lawyer will be assigned to your case. In situations where the violation is only punishable by a fine, you have the right to hire an attorney, but one will not be appointed for you if you decide not to hire one.

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Understanding DUI Plea Options In Illinois

 Posted on May 29, 2020 in DUI

We work very hard for our clients to help them achieve the best result in court, but sometimes the best option involves taking a plea deal to avoid the potential of a much more unfavorable outcome. Knowing about your plea options can help you make the best decision for your DUI case, so we want to lay out what’s available to you in today’s blog. Below, we take a closer look at your plea options if you’re facing a DUI charge in Illinois.

Three Plea Options

On the surface, there are three main ways you can plead when you’re called on in court. You can:

  1. Plead Guilty – Pleading guilty means you admit guilt to the levied charges.
  2. Plead Not Guilty – This statement suggests that you do not feel the charges are fair and you plan to contest the acquisition of guilt in court.
  3. No Contest – You are not admitting guilt for the charges, but at the same time, this admission means you are not going to contest the charges in court and the court can determine your punishment. It’s very similar to pleading guilty, but it holds its own category.

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4 Defenses To Assault Charges In Illinois

 Posted on May 22, 2020 in Criminal Law

Assault sounds like a serious crime, and the way it is penalized in Illinois, it’s clear that the court feels the same way. And while some assaults can be significant and cause a good deal of physical damage, you may be surprised to learn that you can be charged and convicted of assault without ever touching another person. Because assault carries serious potential penalties, and because of the low threshold it takes to be charged with the crime, it’s imperative that you know some of the best ways to defend yourself against an assault charge. We spotlight some of the more common defenses in today’s blog.

Defenses To The Crime Of Assault

If you are charged with simple, aggravated or felony assault, it’s imperative that you contact a defense lawyer to learn about your options. Considering what’s on the line, it’s often best to hire a firm to represent you at trial. Here’s a look at some of the avenues your lawyer might pursue when working to get your assault charge dismissed.

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15 Ways To Challenge An Illinois DUI Charge

 Posted on May 15, 2020 in DUI

The easiest way to beat a DUI charge in Illinois is to avoid getting behind the wheel when you’re intoxicated in the first place, but nearly 100 people are arrested for drunk driving every day in Illinois, so we need defense strategies instead of just preventative actions. There are a number of ways to challenge the validity of your DUI arrest or the charge itself, and we want to quickly run through 15 of the most common ways we often challenge these arrests. For a more individualized plan to contest your DUI charge, reach out to our firm for a free case review session today.

Common Ways To Fight An Illinois DUI Charge

Here’s a quick look at 15 avenues we may look to explore when contesting your DUI charge.

  1. Breath Test Accuracy – We may contest the accuracy of the breath test results or work to determine that the device itself has not been serviced properly.

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How to Deal with an ATV DUI Charge In Illinois

 Posted on May 07, 2020 in DUI

The weather is warming up, and that means ATV season is beginning here in Illinois. Riding your ATV through the woods or along a secluded trail can be quite the experience, but we also get a number of calls each year from clients who run into a little trouble on their all-terrain vehicle. The most common ATV-related call we receive is about operators who have been charged with DUI on their ATV.

A driving under the influence charge is not unique to a motor vehicle like a car or a truck. In Illinois, a motorized vehicle that is primarily used for transportation can be subject to Illinois DUI laws, which means your ATV, your boat and even a golf cart are in play for a DUI. Below, we take a closer look at ATV-related DUI charges in Illinois, and what you should do if you’re facing a charge of riding while intoxicated.

DUI On An ATV In Illinois

Riding on an ATV tends to lend itself to drinking and driving more so than a standard vehicle. Many ATV trails take riders past bars or restaurants that serve alcohol, and if you’re going to be riding for a good portion of the day, you’ll likely stop to eat, and if you’re with a group of friends it doesn’t take much for a round or two of beers to be purchased.

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Don’t Let Traffic Violations Affect Your CDL In Illinois

 Posted on April 30, 2020 in Criminal Law

If you have a job that requires you to have a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL), you know how important it is that you maintain that license, otherwise you may quickly find yourself out of a job and an income source. CDL drivers are oftentimes tasked with carrying important and even dangerous freight, so Illinois doesn’t look lightly on traffic violations from those tasked with shipping those goods. You can have your CDL suspended for as few as one or two traffic violations, so it’s important to know what to do if you ever find yourself fighting a traffic charge that threatens your commercial driver’s license.

CDL Suspension In Illinois

Under Illinois law, you can have your CDL suspended if you commit two serious traffic offenses. Serious traffic offenses include by are not limited to instances of:

  • Excessive speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Overriding a lane control device
  • Illegal passing
  • Failing to safely negotiate an accident or disabled/emergency vehicles

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Do You Need A Lawyer During A Divorce In Illinois?

 Posted on April 24, 2020 in Family Law

Regardless of whether you’re parting on peaceful terms or it is a less than amicable split, a divorce can be a stressful situation that leaves you with more questions than answers. One of the most common questions we hear in our family law division is whether or not you need a lawyer to help with your divorce.

We’re always careful with how we answer that question, because the short answer is no, you do not need a lawyer in order to process and finalize your divorce. However, you’ll almost assuredly want one. We explain why in today’s blog.

Do I Need A Divorce Lawyer?

When someone asks us if they need a lawyer for their divorce, even if they are splitting on good terms with their spouse, we liken the situation to whether or not you need a mechanic for a check engine problem in your car. Even if you understand cars better than the average person, it’s not a simple process to fix a major check engine problem. You have to run a diagnostics test to figure out what’s wrong, order the right parts, watch Youtube videos of how to fix the problem and then perform the maintenance yourself. It’s going to take significant time and effort, and if one little thing is wrong, it can cause major problems when you’re cruising on the highway.

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How Much Should You Tell Your Lawyer?

 Posted on April 17, 2020 in Criminal Law

If you have been charged with a crime, you’re probably running scenarios through your head and trying to determine your best course of action. For many people, challenging their criminal charge with the help of an attorney is the optimal route, but since they’ve typically never been in this situation before, they often wonder just how up front they should be with their lawyer. In today’s blog, we explain how open you should be with your lawyer and why it’s so important to have an honest conversation with your legal team.

Should You Tell Everything To Your Lawyer?

Should you tell the full truth and nothing but the truth when talking to your lawyer, or should you avoid telling things that could cast doubt over your innocence? Before we answer this question, we want to share a piece of advice that we’ve learned along the way.

If a lawyer only defended innocent clients, they wouldn’t stay in business long.

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