St. Charles DUI defense attorney

In Illinois, it is against the law to be in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If a police officer suspects you of drunk driving, you will likely be asked to complete a field sobriety test or breath test such as a Breathalyzer. If your blood alcohol content is 0.08 percent or more, or you show obvious signs of impairment, you face arrest and possible DUI prosecution. Criminal penalties for an Illinois DUI depend heavily on the circumstances of the alleged crime. If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, a criminal defense lawyer can help ensure that your rights are fully protected.

First-Time DUI Is Typically a Misdemeanor Charge

Most first-time Illinois DUI charges are Class A misdemeanors punishable by driver’s license suspension for one year, a fine of up to $1,000, and a possible incarceration period of up to six months. Unless certain aggravating circumstances were present, the majority of first-time DUI convictions do not result in significant jail time. Furthermore, you may be able to regain your ability to drive before the driver’s license suspension period ends via a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP) that will require you to use a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID). 

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St. Charles child abuse attorney Shaken Baby Syndrome

Being accused of causing an infant’s injury or death can be devastating. People may assume that just because a person was charged with a child-related offense, this means he or she actually committed the crime. Even if the accusation is unfounded, being accused of shaking a baby can result in life-changing consequences. You could endure years or even decades behind bars if convicted. If you are facing criminal charges because you allegedly caused an infant to suffer from Shaken Baby Syndrome, contact an experienced criminal law attorney to discuss your defense options.

Understanding Shaken Baby Syndrome

Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), also called Shaken Impact Syndrome, refers to the damage caused when an infant or small child is violently shaken. It is estimated that between 1,200 and 1,400 incidences of Shaken Baby Syndrome occur in the United States every year. Babies who are shaken can suffer brain damage, internal bleeding, detached retina, and other severe injuries. These injuries often lead to the baby’s death or long-term disability. A doctor or medical examiner may conclude that Shaken Baby Syndrome caused an infant’s death or injury when the infant exhibits symptoms such as:

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St. Charles assault and battery attorney

When an individual’s safety or the safety of his or her loved ones is threatened, a normally non-violent person may become fiercely protective. He or she may take actions that he or she would never take otherwise, including using physical force against the person threatening his or her safety or property. The Illinois Criminal Code describes the requirements that a criminal defendant must meet in order to claim self-defense. Depending on the unique situation, claiming self-defense may help a person charged with assault or battery avoid a conviction.

When Is Physical Violence Justified?

Intentionally harming another person is against the law in most cases. However, if a person uses physical force against another because he or she must do so to protect his or her well-being and/or property, this may not be considered a criminal act. According to the Illinois Criminal Code, an individual is allowed to use force against another person if he or she reasonably believes that the action is necessary to defend against another person’s “imminent use of unlawful force.” In order to successfully claim self-defense in Illinois, a defendant must prove that the following elements were present:

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St. Charles DUI defense attorney

Imagine the following scenario: you decide to have a few drinks at a local bar after work. However, you lose track of time and end up consuming a significant amount of alcohol and staying at the bar much longer than you intended. It is now nighttime, and you are too intoxicated to drive. In a situation like this, you may decide to avoid drunk driving by sleeping in your vehicle and driving home once you have sobered up. However, according to Illinois law, you may be charged with a DUI even if you were not actually driving.

Illinois DUI Law

Section 11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code states that it is a criminal offense for a person to drive or be in “actual physical control” of a vehicle when:

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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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