Tag Archives: Illinois criminal defense attorney

St. Charles criminal defense attorney expungment

Having a criminal record can prevent a person from obtaining adequate employment, limit the person’s ability to find safe and affordable housing, and disqualify him or her from certain educational opportunities. However, everyone deserves a second chance, and a person’s past should not dictate his or her future. One way that Illinois residents may be able to avoid the negative consequences of having a criminal record is through record sealing or expungement. However, not all crimes are eligible to be expunged or sealed, so it is important to understand the difference between the two options.  

Record Sealing in Illinois

If an individual has his or her criminal record “sealed,” this means that the record is largely hidden from public view. Most employers cannot see records that have been sealed, but law enforcement officials or prosecutors are still able to view sealed records. Only some criminal offenses are eligible for record sealing. These include:

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St. Charles drunk driving defense attorney

The state of Illinois takes drunk driving very seriously. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 30 people die as a result of accidents involving an intoxicated driver every day in the United States. In order to dissuade drivers from driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, Illinois has enacted several penalties for this type of impaired driving. Penalties for second or subsequent DUI are typically much harsher than penalties for a first-time DUI. If you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence, speak to an experienced DUI attorney to learn about your defense options.

Understanding Illinois DUI Laws

According to Illinois statutes, it is illegal for an individual to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle if he or she:

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St. Charles drug crime defense attorney

Many drug possession charges and other criminal charges are the results of law enforcement officers searching the defendant’s property. Being the subject of a police search can be extremely stressful and confusing. When a police officer asks to search your property, do you have the right to deny the request? Your rights regarding searches of your personal property can vary depending on the circumstances, so it is crucial to understand the Illinois laws regarding search and seizure. If you are charged with a crime because drugs or other contraband are found on your property, and the search was not conducted legally, the evidence discovered in the search may not be admissible in court.

Police Searches of Your Home

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution places limits on when and how law enforcement can search an individual, his or her property, or seize contraband and other items. The Constitution states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause…” However, in most instances, a police officer may not search or seize an individual or his or her property unless the officer has a valid search warrant signed by a judge or a valid arrest warrant. In some situations, the legal concept of “exigent circumstances” gives police the right to search a home without a warrant. A law enforcement officer has the authority to enter a home or perform a warrantless search if there is a risk of imminent danger, contraband is in plain sight, the evidence is being destroyed, or a suspect is attempting to escape.

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St. Charles criminal expungement and sealing attorneyEveryone makes mistakes from time to time, and that does not make someone a bad person. Individuals who have arrests or criminal convictions on their records deserve a second chance to live a law-abiding life. Unfortunately, having a criminal record can sometimes prevent a person from gaining the education and skills needed for lawful employment. Some employers outright refuse to hire a person if they have a criminal record – even if the record only shows a minor offense. Obtaining quality housing can also be hindered by a criminal record. If you have been charged or convicted of a criminal offense in Illinois, you should know that you may qualify for record expungement or sealing.

When Can a Criminal Record Be Expunged or Sealed?

You may have heard the terms “expungement” and “sealing” when it comes to erasing a criminal record. If a record is sealed, the information about your criminal charges is hidden from a criminal background check, but police and other government personnel will still be able to view your criminal records. Crimes that involve cruelty to animals, orders of protection, or offenses that require you to register as a sex offender are typically not eligible to be sealed.

When a record is expunged, the offense is completely deleted from your record. You will most likely be eligible for expungement if you were arrested for a crime but never convicted. In some cases, you may be able to have your criminal record expunged if you were convicted of a crime and have completed the sentence, as long as you have not committed any subsequent offenses during a certain waiting period. Similar to record sealing, you are not able to expunge records that include sex crimes involving a minor.

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Naperville Internet crimes defense lawyer

As technology evolves, people find new ways to use it both positively and negatively. The phrase “cyberbullying” is not new and has received a lot of media attention throughout the years as people seek to raise awareness of this modern version of harassment. Cyberstalking is a type of cyberbullying that has emerged over time. While cyberstalking has been seen by some as simply watching what someone posts on social media, the act of cyberstalking has become a real way to invade and threaten a person’s privacy. However, due to the nature of the Internet, there are instances in which someone might be falsely accused of cyberstalking if comments are taken out of context or misinterpreted. Therefore, it is important to seek legal counsel if you are facing charges for an Internet crime such as this. 

What Is Cyberstalking?

According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, cyberstalking involves the use of technology to make someone else afraid or concerned about his or her safety. This type of bullying is not typically a one-time occurrence but a consistent form of harassment. Studies from the Data & Society Research Institute and the Center for Innovative Public Health Research found that 8 percent of American Internet users age 15 and up have felt unsafe or afraid as a result of cyberstalking. Females appear to experience the most severe forms of stalking, specifically through physical threats and sexual harassment. Many perpetrators prefer cyberstalking because of the few barriers that exist between them and the victim. The stalker can instantly target their victim while remaining at a distance.

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