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Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce in Illinois

 Posted on September 13, 2019 in Family Law

If the honeymoon phase is both literally and figuratively over in your marriage, you and your partner may decide that it is in both of your best interests to get a divorce. In Illinois, there are two different types of divorce – contested and uncontested. Even if you both agree that you want a divorce, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have an uncontested divorce, so to better help you understand divorce in Illinois, we break down both options in today’s blog.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is the simpler form of the two divorces, but even if you both agree that you want a quick and easy divorce, it doesn’t mean you’re automatically guaranteed an uncontested divorce. Both parties need to agree that they want a divorce in order to pursue an uncontested divorce, but they also need to come to agreement on many other items, including but not limited to:

Second DUI In Illinois – Why You Should Get A Lawyer

 Posted on September 06, 2019 in DUI

We take a lot of phone calls from prospective clients who say they have been charged with DUI, but later in the conversation they mention that this is the second time they’ve been charged with drunk driving. This is a huge factor in the case, and many times clients don’t realize the gravity of a second DUI charge in Illinois. Our state handles these charges a little different than others, which is why it’s almost always in your best interest to hire a lawyer if you’re facing a second DUI charge. We explain why it’s so important in today’s blog.

Second DUI Charge In Illinois

As we mentioned in the intro, Illinois handles subsequent DUI charges a little different than most states. In Illinois, there is no time limitation in which a previous DUI drops off your record. For example, some states only consider it a second DUI if you were convicted of DUI within 10 years of your second arrest. That’s not the case in Illinois. If you got a DUI at 22 years old and you just got picked up for DUI at age 55, this will be considered your second DUI, and you’re going to face stiffer punishments than you did after your first conviction.

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Contesting A Smoking In A Car With Kids Ticket In Illinois

 Posted on August 29, 2019 in Criminal Law

Just last week, Illinois passed House Bill 2276, which makes it illegal for adults to smoke cigarettes or similar products in a vehicle if children are present.

The exact wording of the bill states that “a personal shall not smoke in a motor vehicle containing a person under 18 years of age, regardless of whether the vehicle is in motion, at rest, or has its windows down,” and it goes on to define smoking as “inhaling, exhaling, burning or carrying a lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe, weed, plant, regulated narcotic or other combustible substance.”

The new law went into effect immediately, and a first violation is considered a petty offense with fines not to exceed $100. A subsequent offense involves a fine that is not to exceed $250.

One of the key notes with the new law is that it is not considered to be a primary offense, meaning a police officer cannot pull you over simply because they suspect that you are smoking in a vehicle with children present. They must spot another moving violation in order to pull you over to determine if you are indeed in violation of the new law.

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How To Know If You Should Hire A Defense Lawyer

 Posted on August 23, 2019 in Criminal Law

The majority of people haven’t been in serious trouble with the law, so when something flukey occurs and they end up facing criminal charges, oftentimes they are unsure what they should do next. Some instances are best handled with a professional legal team at your side, while other cases you may be fine going it alone. While there’s no perfect system for determining your best options following an arrest, there are some factors to consider that can make your decision easier. In today’s blog, we look at some of the factors that can be used to determine whether you should consider hiring a lawyer to defend you in court.

Is A Lawyer Worth It?

When it comes to determining if you should hire a lawyer to assist with your case, don’t just consider the price of a lawyer. You need to consider the totality of the circumstances that you’re facing. Looking at the following factors can help you decide if you should have a defense lawyer by your side in court:

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How To Contest An Illinois Traffic Ticket

 Posted on August 15, 2019 in Criminal Law

Thousands of traffic tickets are handed out to motorists in Illinois each and every day, and it’s not just the fine that drivers have to deal with. Depending on their driving history and the circumstances surrounding their ticket, there’s a possibility that their driver’s license could be revoked or their car insurance rates could skyrocket. Because of this, we caution drivers from simply pleading no contest and paying the fine.

When you consider that you have almost nothing to lose and everything to gain by contesting your traffic ticket, it’s almost a no brainer. But how do you ensure you put yourself in the best position to beat the charges? We explain in today’s blog.

Be Unremarkable

When it comes to your interaction with the officer, be as unremarkable as possible. During traffic court, the officer is going to have to recall the traffic stop from memory, and being outlandish or aggressive will only help them remember the specific incident. Be polite, keep your answers short and be forgettable during your interaction with police.

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7 Types of Civil Lawsuits in Illinois

 Posted on August 08, 2019 in Civil law

Criminal lawsuits get all the headlines, but civil lawsuits are also quite common in today’s society. When two or more parties have a legal dispute that they want to take to court, they pursue a civil lawsuit, oftentimes with the help of a civil lawsuit attorney. At Appelman Law we have civil litigation experience and have won a wide variety of civil lawsuits for our clients. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at some of the more common types of civil lawsuits, and we explain how we can help you if you’re interested in pursuing a civil case against someone or some entity.

Common Civil Lawsuits in Illinois

Civil lawsuits typically involve someone attempting to collect monetary compensation or property, but they can certainly center around other areas of interest. Here’s a look at a number of common civil lawsuits that may be filed:

  • Personal Injury Claims – If you were bitten by someone’s dog or injured on their property, you may be able to take civil action against them for your injuries.

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Illinois Removing Statute of Limitations For Many Sex Crimes

 Posted on August 02, 2019 in Criminal Law

Sexual assault survivors will no longer need to worry about getting justice due to statute of limitations issues when a new law goes into effect.

House Bill 2135, which Governor JB Pritzker signed late last month, removes the statute of limitations on criminal sex crimes in Illinois. Crimes on that list include:

  • Criminal Sexual Assault
  • Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault
  • Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse

As it’s laid out in the new law, prosecutors can bring criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault or aggravated criminal sexual abuse charges against an alleged perpetrator at any time after the incident. Under the previous law, victims had 10 years to report the incident in order for prosecutors to be able to legally bring charges against the perp.

Many Approve Of The New Law

Although the new law doesn’t become official until January 1 of 2020, many are already championing the change as a step in the right direction for sexual assault survivors.

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The 10 Illinois Cities With The Most DUIs in 2018

 Posted on July 25, 2019 in DUI

Drunk driving is a problem across the US, but it’s also a significant problem right here in our own backyard. Thousands of motorists are arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Illinois each year, and some places are hotbeds for intoxicated driving. Thanks to a report from the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists, we can see which cities were home to the largest number of drunk drivers in 2018. We dive into the report below.

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Recreational Marijuana and Avoiding Trouble in Illinois

 Posted on July 18, 2019 in Drug Charges

Illinois will become the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana use beginning January 1, 2020, but just because the drug becomes legal does not mean that you have free reign to smoke as you please when the calendar turns. There are still a number of rules and regulations that must be followed if you’re going to use recreational marijuana, and we want to highlight those laws so you don’t need to hire us to get you out of trouble. We’re obviously more than willing to help you out of a sticky situation, but we also want to promote education so you can stay out of trouble in the first place. Here’s a little bit more information about the changes coming in the new year regarding recreational marijuana use.

Recreational Marijauna FAQs

Below, we provide answers to some common questions about the upcoming legalization of marijuana use in Illinois.

  • Can I smoke anywhere? – No, just because recreational marijuana is legal does not mean that you can light up wherever you please. In fact, it is illegal to smoke in public, so if you’re caught smoking in a public place, expect a ticket. You are allowed to use recreational marijuana in private dwellings and in establishments if local jurisdictions allow it.

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Modifying Spousal Support Payments in Illinois

 Posted on July 11, 2019 in Family Law

Following a divorce, the court may order that one spouse pay a monthly support payment to their former spouse as a way of helping each party become self-sufficient following the split. A number of factors go into the award amount, but the point of spousal maintenance is to ensure that both parties come out of the split with the financial means to support themselves.

However, circumstances can always change, and the factors that go into a monthly spousal maintenance award can be influenced by these changes. For example, maybe you lost your job, or your spouse got a raise and is making more money. These factors and more can impact how much you need to pay in spousal maintenance each month, but how do you go about modifying your previous agreement? We explain how we can help you modify your spousal support payments in today’s blog.

Terminating Alimony Payments in Illinois

For starters, it’s worth noting that even if you are in the process of modifying or terminating your spousal maintenance award, you must continue to pay the original agreed upon amount until a new agreement is finalized by the court. Even if things change, you owe the original amount until a modification has been granted.

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