Tag Archives: Illinois criminal attorney

distracted drivingOn January 1, 2014 Illinois banned the use of electronic devices, including hand held cell phones, while behind the wheel of a vehicle. This new law is an expansion to 625 ILCS 5/12 610.2, Illinois’ previously enacted anti-texting and driving statute.

While the new law completely outlaws the use of electronic devices while a driver is driving a vehicle, there are a few exceptions that have been carved out by the legislature that allow for the use of some electronic devices. The statute provides for drivers to use Global Positioning Systems (GPS), CB and HAM radios, or a device that is “physically or electronically integrated into the vehicle.” In addition, the statute allows drivers to use an electronic device in hands free or voice-operated mode, and provides for the use of a head set. The fine for violation of the statute for a first offense is $75, $100 for a second offense, $125 for a third offense, and $150 for a fourth or subsequent offense.

In addition, the new statute is a primary law, which means that an officer can pull you over if he sees you using your electronic device while driving. A secondary law is one where an officer must pull you over for something else and notice the secondary offense in order to issue a citation.

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embezzlementEmbezzlement is a crime we often hear about in the news in relation to higher-up business people and politicians, but not many people are aware of what it actually means. Because it is more common amongst people outside of the everyday average Joe, we tend to detach ourselves from it. However, this does not mean that you should not familiarize yourself with it, for there is no telling where your life will take you.

By definition, embezzlement is the “fraudulent conversion of another’s property by a person who is in a position of trust, such as an agent or employee.” Often compared to the act of swindling, embezzlement differs from swindling because swindling involves wrongfully obtaining property by a false pretense (a lie or a trick, for example) at the time the property is transferred. To break it down a little more, embezzlement is a type of property theft. The person who commits embezzlement is somebody who is entrusted to manage or monitor someone else’s money or property. Referred to as a defendant, this person has legal access to another person’s money or property but does not have legal ownership of it. Embezzlement is unique in that the defendant has both committed theft and has violated a special position of trust. Here in Illinois, embezzlement is generally punished based on the value or type of property that has been stolen. Punishments are as follows:

  • $500 or less: up to $2,500 in fines, up to one year in jail, or both;
  • Over $500 but under $10,00: up to $25,000 in fines, two to five years in jail, or both;
  • Over $10,000 but under $100,000: up to $25,00 in fines, three to seven years in jail, or both;
  • Over $100,000 but under $500,000: up to $25,000 in fines, six to 30 years in jail, or both;
  • Over $500,000 but under $1,000,000: up to $25,000 in fines, four to 15 years in jail (without possibility of parole and probation), or both;
  • Over $1,000,000: up to $25,000 in fines, six to 30 years in jail, or both.

If you or somebody you know has been charged with embezzlement, you do not have to face it alone. Contact an experienced Illinois criminal attorney to assist you.  

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marijuana, Illinois drug crime, Illinois legislation, Illinois laws, criminal lawsIllinois lawmakers are currently in the middle of their five-month long legislative session in Springfield. It is during this time that proposed laws are introduced, debated, and voted on. Criminal laws and potential penalties are based almost entirely on state statute. That means that each legislative session comes with some changes to the criminal justice system in the state as lawmakers alter rules of crime and punishment..

For example, as discussed recently by the Journal Register Star, some policymakers are pushing a bill that would lower penalties for crimes involving small amounts of drugs. The move is being advanced as a way to more fairly treat offenders and better allocate public resources.

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illinois traffic lawyerMost of us have been there – you are on your way somewhere, running late of course, and you see those flashing blue and red lights in your rear view mirror. There’s nothing quite like that feeling of guilty dread. As a licensed driver in Illinois, it is important to be familiar with all of the traffic violations and penalties that exist, so as to avoid hearing those words, “License and registration, please.” Illinois uses a point system to assess driving records. Under this system, you will receive a certain number of points on your driving record (depending on the offense) if you have been convicted of a traffic violation. These point values can range from five to fifty. Here are just few examples of Illinois traffic violations and their point values:

  • Reckless driving - 55 points
  • Driving too fast for conditions - 10 points
  • Driving over the speed limit

    • 1-10 mph over - 5 points
    • 11-14 mph over - 15 points
    • 15-25 mph over - 20 points
    • >25 mph over - 50 points
    • Driving below the minimum speed limit- 5 points

In some cases, drivers can enroll in a traffic safety school in order to reduce their points or to keep violations off of their records. However, if you have been convicted of three traffic violations within a 12-month period, your license will be revoked or suspended. The length of your revocation or suspension depends on how many points you have on your driving record. It is also possible to be subject to a license suspension if you accumulate a certain number of points. If you have accumulated 15+ points as a first-time offender, your license could be suspended from two-12 months. If you have accumulated 15+ points as a repeat offender, the suspension can last from four-12 months. It is important to be aware of the rules and consequences that await you when you get out onto the road. If you have been charged with a traffic violation, be sure to contact an experienced Illinois criminal attorney to represent you and defend your case.

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illinois-concealed-carryThe Firearm Concealed Carry Act was placed into law last summer. It is no longer enough to carry a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOI) Card to carry or own a concealed weapon. A person must meet several requirements to be qualified for a license to carry a concealed firearm or they may be arrested for weapons charges. The applicant:

  • must be at least 21 years of age
  • must have a current, valid FOI Card when applying for the license
  • must not be prohibited under the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act from having or receiving a firearm
  • must not have any convictions or be found guilty of a misdemeanor involving the use of physical threat or force or violence in the five years prior to applying for the license
  • must not have more than one DUI violation within the five years leading up to applying for the license
  • must not have a pending arrest warrant or any legal action that would disqualify the applicant from carrying a firearm
  • must not have been or currently be in treatment for alcohol or drug abuse within five years of applying for the license
  • must complete approved firearms training

The application must be completed along with the requested documentation. Applicants are subject to an extensive background investigation. Those who have not lived in the State for more than 30 days who apply are considered non-resident applicants and must follow the required process. Cook County Child Safety Lock Ordinance Along with the Firearm Concealed Carry Act, Cook County commissioners passed an ordinance regarding the safety locks and storage of guns in homes. According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, all guns kept in a home must have a trigger lock, be stored unloaded in a container separate from ammunition or be secured by the legal owner in any environment where persons 21 years of age or younger are present. Violators are subject to fines and even jail time. If you are facing weapons charges, you should contact an experienced Naperville, Illinois criminal defense attorney immediately.

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