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Recent Blog Posts

Getting Your Marijuana Charge Expunged In Illinois

 Posted on April 10, 2020 in Criminal Law

If you’ve been charged with a crime, you may be wondering if you can get the details of that case sealed or expunged from your record. Sealing records mean case details are kept confidential and not accessible to the general public, whereas an expungement means all records of the incident are destroyed or returned to you. Beginning January 1 of this year, Illinois expanded which arrests and convictions are eligible for expungement. Convictions for marijuana-related offenses are now eligible for expungement, so we’re going to explain the qualifying factors and how you can go about getting your criminal record expunged.

Expungement In Illinois

For a number of different criminal offenses, it is often very difficult to get your record expunged in Illinois. In fact, expungement is typically only available to those who were never convicted of their crime. However, that changed a little at the start of 2020 when Illinois legalized recreational marijuana use.

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Illinois Man With Coronavirus Charged For Reckless Actions That Endangered The Public

 Posted on April 03, 2020 in Criminal Law

In what is believed to be the first such case in Illinois, a man in the southeastern portion of the state faces up to a year in jail after prosecutors argue he violated a self-isolation order and exposed countless others to the coronavirus.

According to the criminal complaint, a 36-year-old man stopped at a gas station so his 4-year-old son could use the restroom. During the visit, an employee recognized the man from high school and knew that man was supposed to be in quarantine because he shared his story on Facebook. After the man left the store, the employee alerted his supervisor, who contacted the authorities.

“The individual entered into a Jasper County business and was clearly not self-isolating,” said Chad Miller, the state’s attorney in the county. Miller said the man’s actions “showed a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others.”

Should He Face Charges?

The man at the center of the case is Jason Liddle, and he believes he is being singled out by the state. He says he never tested positive for the coronavirus and was only told to isolate by his physician. Liddle said he did not go to work during the isolation period and was doing a half-hour drive to his in-law’s house with his family when his 4-year-old asked to use the restroom. Liddle said he took his son to the restroom and was careful not to get close to anyone else, but he was recognized by a high school classmate who worked at the gas station and everything blew up from there.

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When Can Police Pull You Over In Illinois?

 Posted on March 27, 2020 in Criminal Law

Although driving is considered a privilege in the state of Illinois, that doesn’t mean police can pull over any driver they choose in order to conduct a traffic stop. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures, and we’ve won many cases challenging the constitutionality of a search. Below, we take a closer look at when police are legally allowed to conduct a traffic stop and what you can do if you believe you were unconstitutionally stopped in Illinois.

Legal Right To Stop A Driver

There are a few factors that allow a police officer to legally stop a driver. The most common instance is when the officer witnesses a driver commit a driving infraction. It doesn’t matter whether the driver is knowingly breaking the law (like speeding) or unknowingly breaking the law (driving with a broken tail light). If they are in violation of a driving law, an officer can conduct a traffic stop.

It’s also worth noting that the reason for the traffic stop does not need to be related to the eventual charges the driver faces. For example, if you were pulled over for expired license plates and the officer realizes after speaking with you that you may be under the influence of alcohol, you can still face DWI charges even though the basis for the stop was for an unrelated matter.

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How COVID-19 Is Impacting Criminal Courts In Illinois

 Posted on March 20, 2020 in Criminal Law

COVID-19, also referred to as the coronavirus, is having a significant impact on our personal and professional lives here in Illinois and across the US. Now that the government has mandated that we should practice social distancing and avoid groups larger than 10 to help slow the spread of the virus, Illinois courts have issued some changes to help citizens heed these instructions. Below, we take a look at some of the changes that are affecting courthouses in our area.

Changes To DuPage County Courts

Effective earlier this week, Daniel P. Guerin, Chief Judge of DuPage County, issued an order that went into effect on March 17. The order stated that all pending cases in DuPage County Circuit Court will be rescheduled to after April 17, and that cases will be continued for 30 to 60 days after their originally scheduled court date. Each party involved in a pending case should be notified of a new expected court date. Additionally, all traffic courts in DuPage County are closed until after April 17. You or your lawyer will be notified of a new court date by the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

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Extra DUI Patrols In DuPage County Through March

 Posted on March 13, 2020 in DUI

Illinois State Police announced that it will be conducting extra DUI patrols throughout the remainder of March in a number of counties across the state, including DuPage County.

Aside from keeping more eyes on the roads to stop impaired drivers, the task force also announced specific locations where “Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement” will take place. Those areas include:

  • The Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) in Kane County
  • The Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) in Dupage and Kane counties
  • The Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355) in Dupage and Will countie

Police said that the patrols will be conducted during nighttime hours when drunk driving rates are at the highest. Unsurprisingly, they also said that they will take a zero-tolerance approach to getting impaired drivers and underage drivers who consume alcohol off of the road.

DUI Penalties

In Illinois, individuals who are arrested for DUI can have their vehicle impounded and have their driving privileges revoked for up to a year for their first offense. DUI convictions can also result in fines up to $2,500 and up to a year in jail. You’ll also likely see increased car insurance rates once your insurer gets wind of the arrest, and some people can also lose their job depending on their work duties as a result of the arrest. Those previously convicted of a DUI will face even harsher potential penalties, including up to 12 years in prison and fines reaching $25,000 if you cause an accident with injury.

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I Live In Illinois But Got A DUI In Another State – What Should I Do?

 Posted on March 06, 2020 in DUI

If you’re planning a road trip down to Florida or just visiting some family in Wisconsin, you may plan on imbibing in some spirits once you’ve reached your destination. This is fine so long as you keep it in check and don’t get behind the wheel after drinking. If you end up making a mistake and getting a DUI in another state, don’t just assume you can scamper back to Illinois and avoid penalties by never returning to the other state. That’s not how the system works, and it can have significant repercussions for your ability to drive in Illinois. Below, we explain what can happen if you get an out of state DUI and how you should proceed once you’re back in Illinois.

Out Of State DUI

When it comes to an out of state DUI, it’s important to recognize that it’s not just an issue in the state you were traveling to at the time of the arrest. If you are charged with a crime like DUI in another state, that is the only state that can punish you criminally for the act. So if you get a DUI in Wisconsin, only the Wisconsin court can hand down punishments like jail, fines or alcohol education classes. However, both the state you were traveling to and your home state of Illinois can lay down repercussions for your driver’s license.

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Defenses To Marijuana Possession In Illinois

 Posted on February 28, 2020 in Criminal Law

Recreational marijuana may be legal in Illinois, but that doesn’t mean you have free reign to do whatever you please with the plant. There are still rules and regulations that need to be followed, and if you don’t follow them, you can end up with a marijuana possession charge. It may not seem like a big deal considering the drug is legalized recreationally in Illinois, but that conviction can still cause significant problems in the future. It may show up on background checks for jobs and housing applications, and it could impact your ability to get into the school of your dreams, so don’t take the charge lightly.

So what are your options if you end up facing a marijuana possession charge in Illinois? We share some of the more common defenses to possession charges in today’s blog.

Defending Against Marijuana Possession Charges

You are allowed to purchase and possess recreational marijuana in Illinois, but certain limitations apply. For example, you can’t have more than 30 grams in your possession, otherwise you can face charges. Being in possession of between 30 and 100 grams is a misdemeanor offense, and it only gets worse from there. Possessing more than 100 grams of having a subsequent possession offense will result in felony charges, which carry the potential for significant fines and jail time.

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Gun Possession Charges And Penalties In Illinois

 Posted on February 21, 2020 in Criminal Law

It’s no secret that Illinois is currently dealing with a gun possession and trafficking problem, and one of the responses by the state has been to severely increase penalties for anyone caught in violation of its gun laws. Whether by mistake or a regretful action, we’ve seen lives get turned upside down as a result of a gun possession or trafficking charge, and we want to help explain the laws, penalties and defenses so you don’t end up needing legal defense. We’re here to help you in your time of need, but we’re hoping that by learning more about the laws that you’ll stay clear of any gun charges.

Common Gun Possession Or Trafficking Charges In Illinois

In order to be a law-abiding gun owner in the state of Illinois, you must abide by some pretty strict regulations, and for good reason. At the most basic level, in order to legally carry a firearm in Illinois you must be over the age of 21, possess a Firearm Owner’s identification card and not have certain criminal convictions on your record that outlaw future gun possession. If you fail to meet these guidelines, or you violate some other stipulations, you can end up facing some of the following charges:

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Domestic Violence Penalties And Defenses In Illinois

 Posted on February 14, 2020 in Criminal Law

Domestic violence allegations and charges are very serious, and oftentimes they can be brought upon a person without much concrete evidence outside of a he said, she said argument. Nobody should be victimized by domestic assault, but on the other side of the coin, a person shouldn’t have their life ruined over false allegations or embellished accounts of an incident. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at the penalties for domestic assault in Illinois, what factors can result in felony-level charges, and common defenses to domestic assault charges.

Penalties For Domestic Violence In Illinois

Under Illinois law, basic domestic battery is considered a misdemeanor offense, which is punishable by up to a year in jail and fines up to $2,500. The law states that domestic battery occurs when a person commits an act of physical violence towards someone with whom they have a familial or intimate relationship. You can also be charged with misdemeanor domestic battery if you have contact with a family or household member in an insulting or provoking nature, although this is the less common form of the crime.

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5 Actions that Could Hurt Your Child Custody Case

 Posted on February 07, 2020 in Family Law

Whether you’re going through a divorce or a breakup, the matter becomes significantly more complex if children are involved. Even when the split is mutual, figuring out a child custody agreement can be difficult, and many times parents can’t come to a decision and the court has to get involved. It’s always best to try to settle things with the other party instead of it being up to a judge, but if it ends up being decided by a family law judge, they will look at a number of different factors to develop a child custody agreement.

But what factors will they look at, and what choices could negatively affect your chances of getting a favorable child custody agreement? We take a closer look at some factors that could hurt your child custody case in Illinois in today’s blog.

What Could Tank Your Child Custody Case?

Here’s a look at a number of the factors a judge will look at when determining the best arrangement for a child in the wake of a parental split.

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