Schedule a Free Consultation|
Call 815-740-4025

Recent Blog Posts

Was Your DUI Stop Legal?

 Posted on September 22, 2022 in Uncategorized

There are a lot of ways for the police to make a mistake that leads to a case being dismissed. One of these potential mistakes involves their decision to make the traffic stop in the first place. If the traffic stop was illegal, then any evidence against you as a result of the stop could be discarded, leaving the prosecutor with very few arguments. You may think that police have the right to stop anyone they want to for any reason or no reason, but this is not the case. In order to pull a person over, the officer must have reasonable suspicion that you are doing something illegal. We start every DUI case by reviewing the alleged grounds for the stop in order to determine whether we can use an illegal stop as the basis of a legal defense.

Defining Reasonable Suspicion

The reasonable suspicion standard is based in the U.S. constitution. It is a rather low bar. The officer must be able to show that there were objective reasons he suspected that you were breaking the law and that his suspicion was reasonable. This standard is meant to prevent police from profiling drivers or harassing people who do not seem to be doing anything wrong.

Continue Reading ››

What Are Aggravating Factors in Sentencing?

 Posted on September 12, 2022 in Uncategorized

In our last blog, we discussed mitigating factors that your lawyer could raise at sentencing to protect you even if you do get convicted. Mitigating factors are circumstances that make the crime less serious and can lead to reduced sentencing. It is also important to know that there are aggravating factors the prosecution might raise. Aggravating factors are circumstances that make the crime more serious, and can lead to harsher sentencing. At a sentencing hearing, guilt has already been established, so the only question remaining is what the appropriate punishment is. Your lawyer should be able to assess which aggravating factors the prosecution might raise and prepare counterarguments.

Aggravating Factors in Illinois Sentencing

As with mitigating factors, there is a list of aggravating factors that the prosecution may use. In Illinois, aggravating factors include:

  • Vulnerable victim - If the crime was committed against a vulnerable person, such as someone who is elderly, disabled, a child, or otherwise unable to protect themself, this factor is present.

    Continue Reading ››

How a Lawyer Can Protect You During a Criminal Sentencing

 Posted on September 12, 2022 in Uncategorized

No case is truly hopeless. Even if it seems that a conviction is inevitable, an attorney may be able to take actions that could lead to a dismissal or an acquittal at trial. There are a plethora of legal rules regarding what evidence can and cannot be introduced at trial. The constitution also governs quite a bit of what police officers can and cannot do. This is why every criminal case should be thoroughly assessed by a lawyer. However, even if it does turn out that you are convicted of a crime, or you take a plea bargain, your lawyer’s job is not done. Each criminal offense carries a range of possible penalties, including jail. A good defense attorney can make strong arguments that the lightest possible sentencing is appropriate in your case and in some cases, even avoid a conviction on your record. This could mean the difference between a clean criminal record, probation or years in prison.

What is Mitigation at Sentencing?

Before the judge decides on a sentence, your attorney will have the opportunity to present any mitigating factors that make the crime less serious than the charge may suggest. Mitigation also includes certain factors that may suggest to a court that you do not deserve harsh sentencing. Mitigation factors used in Illinois include:

Continue Reading ››

Could I Get a DUI for Using My Own Prescription Medication?

 Posted on September 06, 2022 in Uncategorized

Many people rely on prescription medications that can affect their mental state. People who suffer from chronic pain or are recovering from an acute illness or injury may need opiate pain medicine to function. Those who suffer from anxiety may need benzodiazepines to get through the day. People with ADHD or narcolepsy may need prescription amphetamines. Insomniacs may need sleeping pills. The list goes on. People who use these medications frequently need to get to work, or the grocery store, or doctor’s appointments- just like everyone else. But could they be charged with a DUI for driving themselves after taking their prescription medication? In most cases, the answer is yes.

Those who are facing DUI charges based on their use of a medication that was prescribed to them should contact an experienced DUI attorney for help.

What the Law Says About Driving Under the Influence

In Illinois, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of any intoxicating substance. This includes alcohol, cannabis, and any other intoxicating substance, including those that have been prescribed. Your use of the medication itself does not have to be illegal for you to get a DUI. If your prescription medication makes you feel intoxicated or impaired - “high” or “loopy” - then you cannot legally drive. Generally, if your ability to drive safely is impaired, you may be found guilty of a DUI.

Continue Reading ››

Fighting a DUI in Illinois

 Posted on September 01, 2022 in Uncategorized

Just because you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) does not mean that you are definitely going to be convicted. There are ways to fight back when you are facing drunk driving charges. Defendants often feel that their situation is hopeless, but this is rarely the case. There are a myriad of possible defenses. Anything from the reason you were pulled over in the first place to the results of chemical BAC testing can be challenged. Securing a DUI conviction depends on the police following very specific procedures and a mistake by an officer could lead to your case being dismissed. To put a strong defense forward, you will need an experienced DUI lawyer who has a good understanding of DUI laws and BAC testing procedures.

Defending Your DUI Case

Your DUI case may be more defensible than you think. Some strategies your lawyer may want to use include:

  • Invalid chemical tests - There are many more ways for law enforcement to mess up chemical testing after a DUI arrest than there are for them to do it right. Anything from not performing routine calibrations of the testing equipment to not waiting long enough to administer a breath test could invalidate the results. Police officers are not medical professionals and frequently mishandle biological samples or equipment like test tubes.

    Continue Reading ››

Do I Still Need a Lawyer If I am Not Guilty?

 Posted on August 26, 2022 in Uncategorized

Innocent people are arrested far more frequently than most people would like to believe. The fact is that a false or even illegal arrest can happen to anyone at any time. Your arrest could have been the result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or someone may have made a false accusation against you. Either way, you wound up in handcuffs for something you did not do.

If you have been the victim of a unsubstantiated arrest, it is very important that you are represented by an attorney. It is disturbingly common for arrestees to be pressured into pleading guilty to a crime they did not commit, or even convicted after a jury trial. [[title]] fights hard to keep innocent people from winding up with a criminal record.

Common Reasons for False Arrests

When an innocent person is arrested and charged with a crime, it is usually for one of just a few reasons. These common reasons for false arrests include:

  • Proximity to drugs - You were over at a friend or relative’s house, or in their car, when the police showed up. It turns out they had drugs you did not know about. The police arrest you just for being there.

    Continue Reading ››

What Are the Penalties in Illinois for Underage DUI?

 Posted on August 20, 2022 in Uncategorized

Over the past several decades, it has been difficult enough convincing adults not to drink and drive. According to the Illinois Secretary of State's office, more than 20,000 drivers were charged with DUI in 2020, with 90 percent of those drivers losing their driving privileges. However, convincing teens not to drink and drive can sometimes be even more difficult. What many teens do not realize is that the penalties for anyone under 21 for DUI can be even more severe than for adults.

Standard DUI Penalties

Under Illinois law, any driver who has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent is considered to be driving under the influence. If the driver is found guilty of a first-time offense, they will face the loss of their driver’s license for one year, a fine of up to $2,500, and potential jail time of up to one year. A second offense within a five-year period carries a loss of license for five years, a minimum of five days in jail or 240 hours of community service, and a fine of up to $2,500.

Continue Reading ››

Illinois Continues to Battle Opioid Epidemic

 Posted on August 11, 2022 in Uncategorized

The drug epidemic in the United States continues to take the lives of thousands of people each year. Despite the many efforts put forth by advocates and lawmakers, the state of Illinois still struggles with this tragic situation. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 3,013 people died from opioid overdoses last year, a 2.3 percent increase from the prior year and an almost 36 percent increase from 2019.

The governor recently signed several new laws to combat the epidemic and help those addicted to opioids. More and more lawmakers believe that instead of “punishing” those who struggle with drug addiction, there should be more opportunities for them to receive the help they need.

However, many law enforcement agencies in Illinois are also taking the steps to prosecute those who supply drugs to individuals who then suffer overdose deaths.

New Laws

The new laws that Governor JB Pritzker recently signed included:

  • Senate Bill 2535 – Any pharmacist and other professionals who prescribe opioids will be required to inform those patients of the high risk of addiction these drugs pose, as well as provide the patient the option to receive Naloxone, which is sold under the brand name Narcan, and is an opioid antagonist that can reverse an opioid overdose if administered in time.

    Continue Reading ››

Facing Charges Under Illinois Hate Crime Statute

 Posted on August 10, 2022 in Uncategorized

In 2018, Illinois lawmakers expanded the state’s hate crimes statute to include cyberstalking, certain acts of intimidation, and transmission of obscene messages. One of the other significant changes to that law was that it also granted the Attorney General’s office civil enforcement authority. For the first time since those changes, the AG’s office has announced it has filed a lawsuit against an Illinois mother and son for engaging in a campaign of hate crimes against their neighbor.

The Case Against a Mother and Son

According to the statement released by Attorney General Kwame Raoul, the alleged acts by the mother and son began in July 2020. The alleged victim notified police that his fence was damaged by the mother who had threatened to tear it down. The victim again notified police when he saw the son intentionally spray weed killer on his lawn, which damaged all the grass. Police charged the son with misdemeanor criminal offense for the property damage. That case is still pending.

Continue Reading ››

Are You Facing Civil Asset Forfeiture in Illinois?

 Posted on July 01, 2022 in Uncategorized

Facing any kind of drug crime can be stressful and frightening. After all, both your freedom and your future could be at stake, depending on the circumstances of the charges. But there is another grave issue you may have to deal with when you have been accused of a drug crime: asset forfeiture. If you have been charged with a drug crime, it is important to contact a Will County defense attorney.

What Is Asset Forfeiture

Asset forfeiture is the taking of an accused’s property either by federal or state government officials if that property is considered profit from illegal activities. It is intended to “take the profit out of crime.” Under asset forfeiture laws, the government can take cash, bank accounts, real estate, vehicles, and any other assets they believe were obtained due to criminal acts. Criminal asset forfeiture can occur once the accused has been tried and convicted of the crimes they are charged with. This type of asset forfeiture is fairly common in drug cases. However, Illinois and many other states also have civil asset forfeiture laws. With this type, law enforcement are able to seize the person’s assets without a conviction – sometimes without even the individual being charged – if the police suspect these assets are the proceeds of criminal activity.

Continue Reading ››

badge badge
badge badge badge badge badge
Back to Top