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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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Cannabis sativa is the plant that the drug marijuana is derived from. The plant’s leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds are all dried and shredded to create the drug with the psychoactive chemical, THC, that is inside. An annual survey recently found that more teenagers are actually smoking marijuana, or weed, more often than cigarettes, most likely due to the decreasing negative opinion of the drug. Although it has found to have medical benefits and very few permanent negative effects, marijuana does still alter the mind for a length of time when it is consumed and it can be dangerous.  The effects of drinking and driving are ingrained in the brains of young drivers in America through drivers’ education classes, highway and freeway billboards, parents, teachers, and sometimes even friends and siblings. What few people are taught, though, is that it is just as dangerous to drive a vehicle while under the influence of drugs, including marijuana. Motor coordination and judgment are seriously impaired by weed and it increases the likelihood of being in an accident by over 200 percent. Along with immediate danger in a car, smoking any substance can lead to respiratory problems in the future. Marijuana smokers have been found to have the same lung problems as tobacco smokers, such as daily cough and phlegm production, frequent and acute chest pains, and a higher risk of lung infection. Development of psychosis has also been linked to marijuana use, although genetic predisposition and the age at which one begins to smoke marijuana were also factors. Other mood problems that have arisen from the use of marijuana include suicidal thoughts, depression, and anxiety in adolescents. These people also showed signs of lack of motivation to engage in rewarding activities and personality disturbances. Marijuana use during pregnancy, like tobacco and alcohol, can affect the baby as well. Children of those marijuana users who used it during pregnancy have been found to have neurobiological problems. These problems may develop as difficulty with attention, memory, and problem solving. If you have been found with marijuana or another illegal drug, contact a criminal attorney for help today. Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC Attorneys at Law can help you with your drug court case in Naperville and Geneva, Ill. now.

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A federal investigation on child pornography has ended with convictions for multiple individuals, including three Illinois residents. A task force comprised of local law enforcement agencies and federal agencies carried out the investigation known as “Operation Blue Monday”. Those charged with child pornography should hire a criminal defense attorney to manage their case. 	Defendants who have already been through the sentencing process got prison terms from between 3 ½ years up to 11 years. A jury convicted Tuscola’s Parrish Kappes of distribution and possession of child pornography after evidence was revealed about his connection to three explicit videos regarding minors in 2012. Investigators uncovered 200 movie files and more than 2,000 sexually explicit images of children, some of which were classified as violent. 	There are serious penalties for child pornography in Illinois. Kappes faces between 5 and 20 years in prison for each out of distribution. Possession counts can carry prison terms of up to 10 years. Two other Illinois residents, Zachary Vincent and Dustin Underwood, were also connected to charges of possession and distribution. Operation Blue Monday also convicted a Champaign man, a Georgetown man, and three students at the University of Illinois. 	In Illinois, the definition of child pornography includes videos, films, or photos. The majority of charges for child pornography in the state are Class 1 felonies, although the state can prosecute possession as a Class 3 felony. Previous convictions can increase a defendant’s likelihood of facing additional prison time or punishments. Many convicted individuals are required to register as sex offenders in their communities for a period of at least ten years. 	The punishments for child pornography are very serious. The long-term impacts of a conviction of child pornography may include difficulty finding employment. If you have been charged with possession or distribution of child pornography, you should have a conversation with a qualified Illinois criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A federal investigation on child pornography has ended with convictions for multiple individuals, including three Illinois residents. A task force comprised of local law enforcement agencies and federal agencies carried out the investigation known as “Operation Blue Monday”.  Those charged with child pornography should hire a criminal defense attorney to manage their case. Defendants who have already been through the sentencing process got prison terms from between 3 ½ years up to 11 years. A jury convicted Tuscola’s Parrish Kappes of distribution and possession of child pornography after evidence was revealed about his connection to three explicit videos regarding minors in 2012. Investigators uncovered 200 movie files and more than 2,000 sexually explicit images of children, some of which were classified as violent. There are serious penalties for child pornography in Illinois. Kappes faces between 5 and 20 years in prison for each out of distribution. Possession counts can carry prison terms of up to 10 years. Two other Illinois residents, Zachary Vincent and Dustin Underwood, were also connected to charges of possession and distribution. Operation Blue Monday also convicted a Champaign man, a Georgetown man, and three students at the University of Illinois. In Illinois, the definition of child pornography includes videos, films, or photos. The majority of charges for child pornography in the state are Class 1 felonies, although the state can prosecute possession as a Class 3 felony. Previous convictions can increase a defendant’s likelihood of facing additional prison time or punishments. Many convicted individuals are required to register as sex offenders in their communities for a period of at least ten years. The punishments for child pornography are very serious. The long-term impacts of a conviction of child pornography may include difficulty finding employment. If you have been charged with possession or distribution of child pornography, you should have a conversation with a qualified Illinois criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

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