St. Charles juvenile crimes defense attorney

For many young people, age 21 cannot come soon enough. Underage individuals may attempt to use a number of methods to obtain alcohol before they are old enough to legally drink it. They may ask an older sibling or friend to buy the alcohol for them, use a fake ID to purchase alcohol in a store, or steal drinks from their parents’ liquor cabinet. Although many juveniles underestimate the danger of underage drinking and even see it as a normal part of growing up, acquiring and consuming alcohol before age 21 is against the law in Illinois. If your child has been charged with an alcohol-related offense, a criminal defense attorney can help you explore your legal options.

Underage Drinking Offenses in Illinois

There are several crimes associated with underage drinking in Illinois. Anyone under age 21 caught purchasing, possessing, or consuming alcohol will have his or her driving privileges suspended for six months for a first offense and 12 months for a second offense. Transporting alcohol in the passenger area of a vehicle can result in a one-year suspension of the offender’s driving privileges.

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St. Charles aggravated computer tampering attorney

Computer “hacking” has become a hotly discussed topic in recent decades. A number of movies and television shows depict mysterious “hackers” stealing, using, and manipulating computer data for a range of purposes. Although it is sometimes glorified in entertainment, using a computer or accessing computer data without authorization is a criminal offense. In 1996, Illinois passed the Computer Crime Prevention Law. This law makes it illegal for a person to access a computer, a computer program, or other digital information that he or she does not have permission to use. The penalties for computer tampering and aggravated computer tampering vary significantly depending on the circumstances of the alleged crime, but these penalties often involve heavy fines and jail time. If you are charged with computer tampering, it is crucial that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your defense options as soon as possible.

What Is Computer Tampering?

Under Illinois law, computer tampering is a serious crime. Some people may not realize the actions that constitute this offense, which is defined as doing any of the following: 

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St. Charles weapons charges defense attorney

Gun violence is a major concern for Illinois residents, especially those living in or around Chicago. In order to help prevent needless injuries and deaths from gun violence, Illinois has enacted several strict gun ownership policies. In order to legally own a firearm in Illinois, you must obtain a Firearm Ownership Identification (FOID) card. The Illinois State Police has the right to revoke your FOID card and therefore withdraw your legal authorization to possess a firearm for a number of reasons. If you are a gun owner, it is critical that you understand the laws pertaining to firearm possession to avoid criminal charges.    

FOID Eligibility

In order to receive a FOID card, gun owners must meet several criteria. Illinois residents are not eligible for a FOID card if they:

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St. Charles gun charges defense attorney

Criminal charges related to theft, weapons violations, and possession of controlled substances are often the result of a police search of a vehicle or a home. However, if a police search was conducted, and the proper procedures were not followed, it is possible that any evidence discovered in the search will be inadmissible in court. According to the “exclusionary rule,” the government cannot use evidence against a criminal defendant that was acquired in violation of the Constitution. It is crucial for every person in Illinois to know what their rights are in regard to search and seizure of their property.

When Are Police Allowed to Search My Home?

You have a constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches of your property. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution states in part that the right of people to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures will not be violated and that “no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause.” This means that law enforcement cannot search a person’s property without a good reason for doing so. Typically, a person’s residence cannot be legally searched by law enforcement unless the officers have a valid search warrant that was signed by a judge. However, there are several situations in which police can search your home even if they do not have a search warrant.

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St. Charles traffic violations defense attorney

If a law enforcement officer suspects that a motorist is breaking the law, he or she will use lights and sirens to indicate that the driver must pull over for a traffic stop. If the police officer suspects the driver of driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, he or she may ask the driver to participate in a field sobriety test or take a breathalyzer test. If the officer suspects that weapons, illegal drugs, or other contraband are in the vehicle, he or she may conduct a search of the vehicle. There are certain things that a driver should never do during a traffic stop as well as steps that drivers should always take. It is important to remember that you have certain rights during traffic stops, and doing the following may help you avoid criminal charges:

Pull Over Immediately

Being pulled over by a police officer is often the last thing you want to deal with. However, traffic stops are not optional. The Illinois Vehicle Code states that if a driver receives a “visual or audible signal” by a police officer to stop his or her vehicle and fails to do so, he or she may be charged with fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer. This offense is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail.

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