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What You Need to Know About Monitoring Device Driving Permits in Illinois

 Posted on November 27, 2023 in Uncategorized

Grundy County criminal defense lawyer

In Illinois, a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) is a special type of driving permit that allows individuals whose driver’s license has been suspended to operate a motor vehicle legally. This permit may be available to qualified individuals in Illinois who have had their license suspended due to a first-offense DUI

Today, we will discuss who can get an MDDP and the different benefits of this permit. If you want to learn more about your legal rights and options following a driver’s license suspension, contact a driver’s license restatement lawyer.  

An MDDP Can Get You Back on the Road Legally

Individuals who are at least 18 years old and have had their driver’s license suspended due to a first-offense DUI conviction are typically eligible for an MDDP in Illinois. You will not qualify for an MDDP if your driver's license was already suspended, revoked, or was otherwise invalid at the time of the DUI arrest. Individuals accused of causing death or bodily harm while driving under the influence and those previously convicted of reckless homicide or aggravated DUI do not qualify for an MDDP.

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When It Comes to Criminal Law, Every Word Matters

 Posted on November 16, 2023 in Uncategorized

Grundy County criminal defense lawyer

A few weeks ago, an Illinois lawmaker introduced House Bill 3762. HB 3762 would remove all references to the death penalty and modes of execution from the state’s law books, as the death penalty has been outlawed in Illinois since 2011. When introducing the bill, which has since passed the House, its author observed that “The language we use influences attitudes and behavior” and argued that removing antiquated references within the state’s criminal code could help to influence the direction of the state for the better. This is a point well made, as there is arguably no set of laws that so acutely inspire life-altering consequences due to “mere” word choice as those that govern criminal prosecution and criminal defense.

Why Wording Is So Consequential 

The detailed language of criminal law dictates what charges can be levied against someone accused of a crime. It also impacts the kinds of defenses they can present in response and the types of punishments they will face in the event of a conviction.

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Sentencing Reform for Juvenile Offenders to Become Law in Illinois

 Posted on November 09, 2023 in Uncategorized

Grundy County juvenile defense lawyer

In theory, the juvenile justice system in the U.S. seeks not to punish juvenile offenders but to rehabilitate them and to minimize the likelihood that they will end up facing charges for criminal wrongdoing as adults. This is not always how the system works in practice. However, this is the goal of most individuals who work within it. As a result, the recent Illinois legislature’s passage of a sentencing reform bill targeted at certain alleged juvenile offenders has been greeted by many as a step in the right direction.

House Bill 3414

Currently, judges who preside over juvenile criminal justice matters in Illinois are empowered to consider a minor’s maturity, age, and potential for rehabilitation during sentencing for a conviction. House Bill 3414 – which passed 67-40 in the House and 33-20 in the Senate – would allow judges to use greater discernment when sentencing any victim of child sex trafficking in the wake of a conviction for certain crimes. Specifically, judges would be required, not just empowered, to consider factors – including the following – when sentencing these juveniles:

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DUI Driver tries to Pin Arrest on His Dog

 Posted on May 18, 2023 in Uncategorized

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My Dog Was Driving Drunk Officer

While there can be several defenses to driving under the influence of alcohol, alleging that your dog was driving drunk, is not one of them. A driver out of Colorado switched places with his dog, placing the dog in the driver's seat, while he exited out of the passenger side door of his car. "I wasn't driving officer, the dog was". It should be noted that the defense of not driving a vehicle or being in actual physical control of a vehicle, is in fact a valid defense. However, just like when you told your teacher that your dog ate your homework; telling the officer that your dog was the one actually driving will result in the same outcome. No one will believe you.

What are Valid Defenses to Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

While there can be many defenses to Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI), below is a list of the most common ones:

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Tips for Making a Good First Impression in Criminal Court

 Posted on May 15, 2023 in Uncategorized

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It has often been observed that one never gets a second chance to make a first impression. When you walk into an arraignment, you will be engaging in your opportunity to make a solid first impression on the judge assigned to your case.

If you are facing criminal charges for driving under the influence (DUI), assault, battery, drug possession, or a violent felony offense such as manslaughter, preparing for your day in court is essential.

Your behavior and appearance in court can bolster the strength of your criminal defense strategy.

Making a Favorable Impression in Court By Dressing and Acting the Part

Think about what you do subconsciously whenever you are introduced to someone in a social or professional setting. You evaluate what they are wearing, their overall appearance, and how they conduct themselves as you make impressions about whether you regard them favorably or not. Judges and juries do the same thing when they are first introduced to criminal defendants.

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DUI Arrest with a Minor Passenger in the Car

 Posted on May 11, 2023 in Uncategorized

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When an individual is arrested due to a law enforcement officer’s suspicion that they have been driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or other substances, the main issue at hand is whether a motorist was, indeed, impaired while operating their vehicle. However, there may also be so-called “aggravating factors” at play that could significantly influence the outcome of a defendant’s DUI case.

Aggravating factors are aspects of a defendant’s situation that increase the severity of the alleged offense. For example, in Illinois, having a minor in one’s vehicle at the time of a DUI arrest is an aggravating factor. As a result, those who are convicted of a DUI with a minor in the car will face more severe penalties than those who committed the exact same DUI offense without a minor passenger in their vehicles at the time of their arrest.

Minor Child in Car DUI Penalties

In some scenarios, an aggravating factor will only result in the risk of a more severe penalty for the underlying offense. For example, a crime that would otherwise be classified as a misdemeanor would be charged as a felony instead, due to the influence of an aggravating factor. In Illinois, a conviction in a “DUI with a child passenger” case results in a risk of greater fines and a term of community service to be carried out in a program benefiting children.

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Understanding Your Right to Legal Representation as a Criminal Defendant

 Posted on May 05, 2023 in Uncategorized

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Throughout American history, the Supreme Court has handed down cases that are widely characterized as “landmark” decisions because their legal, historical, and/or cultural significance is undeniable.

These cases have helped to shape the American experience both for the better and, in some instances, for the worse. One landmark case that is well known among legal scholars but receives less attention than many cases that focus on broader shifts in culture and society is Gideon v. Wainwright. It was in this case that the Supreme Court acknowledged, with regard to criminal defendants in felony matters, that access to professional legal representation is a Constitutional right. In its decision, the Court observed that:

  • Access to legal counsel is “fundamental and essential to a fair trial”
  • “Our criminal justice system, and our faith in it, depends on effective representation on both sides” and
  • “Lawyers in criminal courts are necessities, not luxuries”

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How Your Social Media Activity Could Hurt Your Criminal Defense Case

 Posted on May 04, 2023 in Uncategorized

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If you are like most Americans, you spend a considerable fraction of your life online. At least one social media platform is also statistically likely to be among the many password-protected accounts you log onto regularly. There is nothing wrong with using social media to connect with loved ones, speak out about issues you care about, and seek like-minded enthusiasts who share your passions. However, if you have recently been charged with criminal wrongdoing, it is important to take great care when interacting with social media or refrain from using social media platforms until your case is resolved.

The Dangers of Social Media for Criminal Defendants

Does the idea of having the prosecutor assigned to your case looking over your shoulder day and night make you uneasy? Essentially, when you post content or react to others’ content on publicly-accessible social media sites, you are inviting this nightmarish scenario to manifest as reality. Regardless of the privacy settings that you enable on your accounts, a prosecutor may be able to look at your activity as your case progresses. In the event that they can use anything that you post, comment, or even “like” against you, they will.

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Will Cash Bail Be Eliminated in Illinois Soon?

 Posted on May 01, 2023 in Uncategorized

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Many people believe that cash bail systems disproportionately affect certain groups of people and have the potential to harm communities as a whole. As a result of these concerns, Illinois was set to become the first state in the U.S. to completely eliminate cash bail for criminal defendants on January 1, 2023. However, a legal challenge to that policy shift means that the fate of the state’s cash-bail prohibition is now in limbo.

What the Future May Hold

In 2021, Illinois state lawmakers passed the SAFE-T Act, which – among other policy shifts – altered the ways in which criminal courts across the state could approach the issue of pretrial detainment. If the new rules regarding cash bail are enacted, the legislation will compel courts to treat presumption of release as the default in most criminal matters. This presumption will eliminate financial considerations in determinations of who should benefit from pretrial release and who should be subjected to pretrial detention as a matter of public safety.

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Are Switchblades Legal in Illinois?

 Posted on April 28, 2023 in Uncategorized

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Most people assume that firearms are the only weapons subject to special rules and regulations. However, this is not the case. In Illinois, knives are also subject to certain legal restrictions. Unfortunately, many well-meaning individuals find themselves in trouble for carrying a weapon they did not know was illegal. If you or a loved one have been arrested for unlawful use of a weapon or another weapon-related offense, make sure to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer for help.

Knife Laws in Illinois

In most circumstances, ballistic knives, automatic knives, and throwing stars are illegal. However, legislation passed in 2017 made it legal for certain individuals to possess switchblades. A switchblade is defined as a knife with a blade that can be opened automatically by the press of a button, spring pressure, or another mechanical device.

According to Illinois law, you are permitted to carry a switchblade if:

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