“Blue Lives Matter” Bill Could Add Police to Protected Class in Illinois, Undermine Black Lives Matter MovementAccording to the Southern Illinoisan, lawmakers have pushed forward a bill that could make an act of violence toward a police officer, correctional officer, or emergency responder a hate crime, if it can be established that the crime was committed in order to terrorize or intimidate that person because of their protected status (of being a law enforcer or first responder). The bill is being co-sponsored by Southern Illinois Sens. Paul Schimpf and Dale Fowler as part of their campaign promises. If the bill becomes law, it could mean extra punishment for those who are charged with police battery, which is already a serious felony in Illinois.

Opponents of the Bill Point to The Fact That Adequate Laws Are Already in Place

The Black Lives Matter movement was initiated to bring awareness to the brutal and deadly treatment that African-Americans often face when they have encounters with the police. You are more likely to be stopped and frisked, beaten, taken to jail, or killed by a law enforcement agent if you are black than if you are white. The statistics have been gathered for decades, yet little to nothing has been done to combat police abuse of minorities, especially African-Americans. Opponents of the bill point to the blatant disregard for what the Black Lives Matter movement is attempting to accomplish: putting an end to police abuse. And, Ed Yohnka of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, makes that claim that he thinks “the problem with this proposal, really, you can sort of read it in the title of Blue Lives Matter, because it’s clearly an attempt to shift focus away from the work of the Black Lives Matter movement.” Furthermore, Mr. Yohnka said that laws that appropriately penalize violence against law enforcement already exist and that, “Those laws have been in place for a number of years.”

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Child Neglect and Child EndangermentChild abuse and child neglect are two entirely different types of offense, and while child abuse is typically a crime that is more heavily punished, child neglect can also end in a misdemeanor or felony charge, and a loss of parental rights. If you have been charged with child neglect, do not hesitate to contact an attorney at once.

What is Neglect?

Neglect happens when the parents of a child fail to provide their child adequate food, clothing, supervision, shelter, and other needs. For example, it would be considered neglectful to leave a newborn baby or toddler at home by themselves for any length of time, especially for hours or all day long. A parent would also be subjecting their child to neglect if they allowed the child to participate in very dangerous activities, such as driving a car or lighting illegal firecrackers. Allowing a child to do very dangerous activities might be considered child endangerment.

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Other Weapons Charges in IllinoisWhile more attention is given to gun law violations, serious penalties are also given to those who violate Illinois’ other weapons laws. These banned weapons include stun guns and throwing stars, among others. Additionally, it is illegal to possess certain types of weapons depending on the property that you are on or even what you are wearing. If you have been charged with a weapons violation, you may be facing up to 30 years in prison if convicted of a class X felony. Weapons charges vary greatly on a variety of factors, however, and the charges you faced could well be dropped to a lower level felony or even a misdemeanor.

Prohibited Weapons in Illinois

Pursuant to Illinois code 720 ILCS 5/24-1, it is unlawful to possess, carry, manufacture, or sell any of the following weapons in Illinois:

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Pleading Self-Defense in IllinoisAccording to Illinois criminal code 720 ILCS 5, it is acceptable for an individual to use force against someone else when that person reasonably believes that this force is necessary to defend themselves or someone else against another party’s impending violence. This means that if you believed that force was necessary to use in order to protect yourself or another person, you are justified in taking such actions. The statute goes on to say, “However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another, or the commission of a forcible felony.” For example, if you are a six-foot tall, 200-pound male and you beat up an unarmed, frail, 80-year-old woman and claimed that you feared for your life or another’s, that self-defense plea would not be accepted in court.

Use of Force to Protect a Dwelling or Property

It is lawful to use force to protect a home or property. However, it is only lawful to use force to protect a dwelling if:

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Criminal Penalties for Stolen Identity Tax Return FraudIdentity theft used to commit tax fraud is a serious criminal offense. It involves the process of stealing a person’s Social Security number and filing a tax return to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and cashing the proceeds. Billions of dollars are lost every year in this process, and the federal government has taken actions to strengthen security and go after offenders with heavy criminal sentences. If you have been charged with identity theft used to file a fraudulent tax return, your future and freedom are at stake, even if you did not commit the crime or know that your actions were in violation of the law. Do not wait any longer to reach out for legal assistance. Call our experienced Naperville fraud defense attorneys for help today.

The Federal Government Cracks Down on Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Offenders

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) does not look lightly upon those who have in any way violated the laws of the IRS. In fact, according to the DOJ, “One of the Tax Division’s highest priorities is prosecuting people who use stolen identities to steal money from the United States Treasury by filing fake tax returns that claim tax refunds. Working to stop Stolen Identity Refund Fraud, or SIRF is vital because these schemes threaten to disrupt the orderly administration of the income tax system for hundreds of thousands of law abiding taxpayers and have cost the United States Treasury billions of dollars.” In fact, in 2013 the IRS found that $30 billion in total was stolen. However, 81 percent of those fraudulent claims were stopped or recovered, meaning that the chances of being caught for refund fraud are high.

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