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expungement, clean record, sealed record, misdemeanor, felony, Illinois lawyerAny criminal charge--even a misdemeanor--on a person’s record, can have a highly detrimental effects on their ability to get a job, receive special licenses, qualify for certain loans, or otherwise enjoy important life opportunities. People frequently have to live with the consequences of actions that took places many years (or even decades) ago because they remain on their public record.

Fortunately, in Illinois and many other states, it is possible to have your criminal history expunged or sealed. Though many think that both processes are the same, there are some very important difference between the two.

Expungement v. Sealing in Illinois

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Since stories about identity theft have become increasingly popular in the media, the laws regarding this crime have also evolved to include different types of identity theft. Knowing exactly what this crime entails could be important for your case if you have been charged with identity theft. Of course, each case is different and the best thing you can do for your situation is to obtain an Illinois criminal lawyer right away. identity theftA person can be charged with identity theft when authorities believe that he or she has knowingly does one of the following:

  • Uses personal identifying information or documents to commit a felony;
  • Obtains, possesses, transfers, sells, or records any personally identifying information or documents belonging to another individual;
  • Uses any personally identifying information or documents without legal authority to do so;
  • Uses personally identifying details to get access to communications made or received or actions taken regarding another person;
  • Provides the license number of a roofing contractor or fire sprinkler contractor that will not be used on a building permit application;

In addition to these stipulations, a person could also  be accused of aggravated identity theft. This happens when he or she commits the above crimes of identity theft against someone over the age of 60 or a person with a disability or as activities to further the work of an organized gang. Being accused of identity theft can be an embarrassing situation filled with consequences. It’s important not to underestimate the impact of being charged with this crime. Depending on the accusations in your case, you could be charged with a felony. As soon as you are accused, you need to obtain legal representation for your case. Already been charged with identity theft? Contact the office of an Illinois criminal defense lawyer today to have your rights represented.

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The laws and penalties for Illinois DUI arrests vary from year to year. Each year, lawmakers review the current laws and trends, leading to an overwhelming increase in the severity of punishments, fines, counseling, and court costs. Your Illinois DUI Lawyer must be current on these sentencing provisions and make certain that you are sentenced according to the provisions that are most lenient and advantageous to you.

 In Illinois, there are new guidelines for 2013 concerning the punishments, fines, counseling, and court costs according to the severity of the DUI charges.  The most comprehensive information available comes from the 2013 DUI Fact Book, published in accordance with the Illinois Office of the Secretary of State.  This Fact Book, while informative, is no substitute for the Compiled Statutes of the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/Ch. 11, Article V., Driving While Intoxicated, Transporting Alcoholic Liquor, and Reckless Driving), which provide the text of the laws regarding driving under the influence that are currently in effect in Illinois.

The Offenses

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DUIMost adults are stressed during the holidays.  That explains why road rage is more common now than other times of the year.  Long commutes, packed parking lots, inclement weather are all factors that increase road rage.  Unfortunately drinking and driving is another contributing factor. On Black Friday, a Streamwood man succumbed to road rage.  52-year-old Joseph M. Maloney was driving erratically around 4 pm.  He hit a curb with his red 1998 Pontiac sedan and swerved in his lane.  When he paused at a stop sign, another motorist had some unfriendly advice for him.  He was told that he should “learn how to drive.” Maloney took offense to this suggestion and took matters into his own hands.  From the inside lane, Maloney cut off the other motorist. Luckily there was no accident from this punitive maneuver. Maloney proceeded to follow the insulter all the way home. Once the motorist exited the vehicle he saw the Maloney was driving right at him. Near the 500 block of Ridge Circle, Maloney drove past the motorist while intending to do harm.  Maloney made several more unsuccessful passes, even driving over neighboring lawns and driveways. Police responded quickly to the residence quickly after the attempted attacks.  They saw that Maloney was visibly intoxicated with glassy eyes and alcohol on his breath.  After he also failed a field sobriety test, and was taken into custody under suspicion of DUI. Maloney ended up being charged with aggravated DUI which carries a possible sentence of three to seven years in jail, 480 hours of community service, a loss of driving privileges, and a fine of up to $25,000.  He was also charged with two counts of aggravated assault which can be punished with two to five years in jail, probation, and a fine of no more than $25,000.  There were also other charges against Maloney, who is being held in lieu of a $75,000 dollar bond. Road rage is dangerous for everyone on the road.  If you are travelling during the holidays, leave yourself enough time to get to where you are going.  Remember that other drivers are not on the road to get a rise out of you so do not take anything personal.  If your emotions get the best of you during this then seek the assistance of a legal professional.  Contact an experienced criminal defense in Saint Charles who can review your case today.

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Many parents of teenagers struggle with the question of whether it would be better to allow their child to drink “responsibly” at home under parental supervision than to let them go out, believing their child will be drinking anyway.  The intentions are understandable.  You want to keep your child safe.  However, you should really consider the consequences of your decision. If you allow your child to drink in your home, your child could perceive this as tacit approval for all underage drinking.   Underage drinking is a very dangerous activity for an adolescent to pursue.  According to the Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD) website, compared to teens who don’t drink, drinking teens are more likely to:

  • Die in a car crash
  • Get pregnant
  • Flunk school
  • Be sexually assaulted
  • Become an alcoholic later in life
  • Take their own life through suicide

Underage drinking also has serious legal implications.  Illinois, along with all 50 states, have zero tolerance laws for drinking and driving.  In Illinois, if a person under the age of 21 is caught driving with even a trace of alcohol in his/her system, driving privileges are revoked.  Illinois’ Zero Tolerance Law also prohibits consumption and possession even while not driving.  Jail time and fines are possibilities. Furthermore, under the Zero Tolerance Law, if great bodily harm or death results from knowingly allowing underage drinking in your home, you may face a Class 4 Felony.    This could mean imprisonment of 1-3 years and a fine of up to $25,000.  So while you may think that you are protecting your child and your child’s friends by supervising their drinking activities, you are actually opening yourself up to liability. If you or someone in your family has violated the Zero Tolerance Law, you will need an experienced attorney to assist you.  Contact a qualified Illinois defense attorney today.

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