Naperville criminal defense attorneys, suspended license, DUI, excessive speedingThe police department of Northbrook, as well as those of Chicago and the surrounding area, have been cracking down on motor vehicle offenses, such as driving under the influence, excessive speeding, and driving without a license or with a suspended license. Without experienced representation, you risk the privilege of being able to drive in the future. In addition, serious jail time may be given to defendants who are found guilty of such traffic offenses. 

Driving on a Suspended License 

Two individuals were arrested for driving without valid driver’s licenses in Northbrook. In late March, a man was placed under arrest during a crash investigation when officers became aware of his driving status. In a separate event, a Des Plaines woman turned right at a red light, was cited for the moving violation, and the arresting officer found that she was driving on a suspended license and did not have insurance as well.

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Naperville criminal defense attorneys , expungement and sealing, criminal recordThe worst decision on the worst day of someone’s life should not define who he or she is nor define the opportunities he or she has for the rest of the individual's life. People with a criminal record or who have been arrested may have a past that unfairly obstructs their future. The stigma associated after a conviction, or simply being arrested for a crime, can prevent them from getting jobs, access to certain housing, or even admission into some schools.

Illinois has a process by which an individual can petition to have his or her records expunged or sealed. Knowing the difference between the two and which one you qualify for can be an important step to getting your life back on track.

Expungement

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Naperville criminal defense attorneys, residential arson, aggravated batteryAn Illinois man is being charged with arson and battery, in addition to other crimes, after allegedly attacking his brother’s fiancé. The 36-year-old defendant allegedly beat the 32-year-old female victim with a hammer before pouring gasoline on her in the town of Joliet. She was rescued by good samaritans before the man took any further actions, allegedly, as reported by People Magazine. According to one of the passersby who intervened in the struggle, “She was covered head to toe in blood and was burnt.” The woman screamed, “He tried to kill me! He hit me with a hammer! He tried to light me on fire!” The house was set on fire as well, and the man was found by police standing in the driveway with bloody hands; the hammer and lighter fluid were found at the scene as well. The man is facing seven separate counts, which include aggravated battery, residential arson, and aggravated arson. His bond was set at $2 million.

Residential Arson

Residential arson, as defined by Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/20-1, occurs when a person knowingly damages any real or personal property of another, without their consent, by fire or explosive substance and that property is valued at $150 or greater. Additionally, residential arson is committed when the defendant’s intention was to defraud an insurance company. Residential arson is a Class 2 felony, punishable by three to seven years in prison.

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Criminal Property Damage, property crime, law firmA Long Grove, Illinois man was arrested recently for throwing a brick through the front door of his neighbor’s home. The man also allegedly entered the home and threatened his neighbor’s wife, then damaged property in the couple’s yard. He allegedly caused the damage because the two victims were Muslim, and said that, "That's what Trump would do,” according to Patch.com. Being charged with criminal property damage can carry a heavy penalty if you are found guilty. In this case, other penalties may apply, such as assault, unlawful entry, and the offense being upgraded to a hate crime. But what constitutes as criminal damage to property?

Proving Intent

In order for the prosecution to successfully charge and sentence a person for criminal damage to property, they must be able to show that the defendant had intent. The defendant must have intentionally caused damage to another’s property, according to Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/21-1. Or, the damage must have been caused by:

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Wiretapping and Unlawful EavesdroppingWiretapping has been in the news as of late due to President Donald Trump’s accusations of President Barack Obama wiretapping his phone lines during the 2016 presidential campaign. While the accusations are being argued, it brings to attention the very real criminal offense of wiretapping another’s phone line. Of course, if anyone had actually used wiretapping in an effort to change the outcome of the presidential election, serious criminal charges would possibly be given to that party. But what are the penalties for wiretapping that has nothing to do with an election? As a private citizen, wiretapping is illegal and carries a penalty of up to 12 months in jail as a Class A misdemeanor. According to Illinois statute 720 ILCS 145/0.01, it is unlawful to tap or connect a wire with the telephone of another person, company, or association that conducts business in transmitting news when the purpose of the wiretapping is to wrongfully take or use that new information.

Unlawful Eavesdropping

Like wiretapping, unlawful eavesdropping is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. But what is eavesdropping? If you overhear something sitting on a park bench, that obviously does not constitute an illegal act. An eavesdropper is a person, including a law enforcement officer, who uses or participates in the use of an eavesdropping device. An eavesdropping device is capable of recording oral conversation, intercepting and/or transcribing electronic communication, or can simply be used to overhear a conversation. A hearing aid does not constitute as an eavesdropping device, however. In order to be charged with eavesdropping, a person must use the eavesdropping device in a surreptitious, or secretive, manner with the intent of compiling information from a private conversation. The information can be oral or electronic, and when the person has consent from all parties in that conversation, no crime has been committed. Similarly, the crime of eavesdropping has been committed when a party manufactures, sells, or assembles an eavesdropping device and has reason to believe that it will be used illegally, and if a person uses or discloses information which they have reason to believe was collected illegally through eavesdropping.

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