aggravating factors, Naperville criminal defense lawyer, criminal charges, criminal penalties,  Class A misdemeanorWhen an individual is charged with a crime, he or she is subject to a range of criminal penalties. For example, an individual charged with a Class 2 felony faces three to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Relevant details about the individual and the case, such as previous drug convictions on his or her record, can make the court more likely to sentence the defendant to a longer prison term and higher fine within the range of penalties for a Class 2 felony conviction. These details are known as aggravating factors.

Sometimes, an aggravating factor does more than increase the severity of the sentence the defendant faces, it changes his or her charge to a new, more serious charge. An example of this is how the use of a deadly weapon in a physical attack changes the incident from an act of battery, charged as a Class A misdemeanor, to an act of aggravated battery, a felony.

Examples of Aggravating Factors

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Naperville criminal defense lawyer, mitigating factors, criminal sentences,  Class 1 felony, criminal defense strategyEvery criminal case is unique. When an individual is facing a criminal charge, his or her story is different from that of another individual facing the same charge. There could be different circumstances surrounding the case, different motives at play, different circumstances for the alleged victim, or a different level of harm dealt to the victim. When the case is presented in court, both sides may present every fact they feel is relevant. These facts can impact the severity of the sentence the convicted defendant faces.

When relevant facts demonstrate a greater level of criminal intent or harm dealt, they are known as aggravating factors. The opposite, facts that show a reduced level of criminal intent or harm associated with an alleged offense, are known as mitigating factors.

Examples of Mitigating Factors

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Naperville juvenile defense lawyer, juvenile offenses, racial disparities, youth corrections, juvenile justice systemAlthough we have civil rights and anti-discrimination laws in place to protect us from being treated unfairly based on our race, sex, religion, and other innate characteristics, the reality is that there is a disparity between the arrest rate, conviction rate, and sentences white Americans and minorities face for the same criminal offenses. This is true for juvenile offenders as well as adult offenders.

Regardless of your child’s race, it is critical that you hire an experienced juvenile defense lawyer to represent him or her in court as soon as you can after your child is arrested. The sooner you begin working with a lawyer, the greater the likelihood that your child’s case will result in him or her avoiding an unfair punishment and if necessary, receiving the help he or she needs.

Statistics on Racial Differences in Youth Arrests, Adjudications, and Dispositions

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traffic violations, license reinstated, license suspension, Naperville DUI defense lawyers, drug education courseThere are two ways an Illinois driver can “lose” his or her driver’s license: suspension and revocation. When a driver’s license is suspended, the driver is prohibited from driving for a specific period of time, during which he or she may be required to fulfill requirements like a driver education course or an alcohol education course. When a driver’s license is revoked, he or she is indefinitely barred from driving. In both of these scenarios, the driver can have his or her license reinstated. How and when the license is reinstated depends on whether it was suspended or revoked and in some cases, the circumstances surrounding the revocation.

If your License is Suspended, You Must Wait Until it is Finished

When a driver’s license is suspended, it is suspended for a specific period of time. This could be a few months, one year, or even a few years.

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juvenile offenses, Naperville juvenile defense lawyer, alleged sexual assault, homicideAs a parent, your instinct is to protect your child at all times. When he or she is arrested or being held in custody, it can be natural for you to want to be with him or her and even feel it is your right to be present during any interactions your child has with law enforcement. The truth is this: although officers are required to make a reasonable attempt to locate a parent or legal guardian of a child in custody after the child is arrested, the parent or legal guardian does not have to be present when the child is being questioned. In fact, the child’s parent or guardian does not even have to provide consent for the child to be questioned, nor does a juvenile defense lawyer have to be present during a child’s questioning.

Custody, Questioning, and Release of Juveniles

The only circumstance under which a lawyer must be present during a juvenile’s questioning is when the juvenile is 13 or younger and he or she is in custody for an alleged sexual assault or homicide.

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