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Recent Blog Posts

Presenting a Strong Defense Against Assault or Battery Charges

 Posted on July 14, 2022 in Assault

IL defense lawyerIllinois law defines assault as conduct that is offensive or threatening, while battery refers to actual physical contact. Assault and/or battery charges often follow a physical altercation or fight. Assault and battery charges can be misdemeanors or felonies depending on the nature of the alleged offense. Being convicted of either offense can lead to serious repercussions, including jail time. Having a conviction on your criminal record can also dramatically impact employment and housing opportunities.

If you or a loved one were charged with assault or battery, contact a criminal defense lawyer right away. Your attorney can begin building a strong case in your defense and ensure that your rights are protected.

Defense Strategies for Assault and Battery Charges in Illinois

Being convicted of assault or battery can threaten your future – especially if aggravating circumstances are present. Criminal defense attorneys use a variety of strategies when representing defendants accused of assault or battery. Some of the most common defense strategies include:

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Common Medications Can Lead to DUI Charges – Even with a Valid Prescription

 Posted on June 08, 2022 in DUI

Most people take prescription medications from time to time. An individual recovering from surgery may take prescription pain medicine. Someone with an anxiety disorder may take anti-anxiety medication. When a doctor prescribes a medication to a patient, the doctor is essentially giving the patient authorization to take the medication. Many people are shocked to learn that they can face criminal charges for driving under the influence (DUI) for taking medicine that was lawfully prescribed to them. DUI involving prescription medication can lead to driver’s license suspension or revocation, expensive fines, or even jail time.

Driving Under the Influence of Prescription Medication

The term “driving under the influence” is often used synonymously with drunk driving. However, alcohol is not the only substance that can lead to DUI charges.

Illinois law states that a person may be charged with DUI for driving under the influence of:

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Can I Be Charged with Theft for Buying a Stolen Item Online?

 Posted on May 04, 2022 in DUI

IL defense lawyerSoaring gas prices, food shortages, inflation, and countless other issues have made the first half of 2022 very difficult for Americans. Many people are struggling to make ends meet and fulfill their financial obligations. As a result, more and more people are buying items outside of the typical retail stores. They may turn to Facebook Marketplace, eBay, eBid, Craigslist, and other websites to buy used items instead of shelling out money for brand new items at the store. Unfortunately, some of the items that are sold online are stolen, and buyers may find themselves facing criminal charges for receipt of stolen goods.

Stolen Goods Being Sold on Online Marketplaces

Online marketplaces are great places to find deals on everything from home goods to vehicles. However, these websites have also become popular places for thieves to resell items that were shoplifted from the store or stolen from other parties. Facebook Marketplace seems to be the preferred website for these illegal transactions because there is little oversight or regulation. Unfortunately, some buyers think that they are buying legitimate items legally when they are actually purchasing solen goods. In Illinois, possession of stolen goods constitutes theft. Someone who purchases or receives a stolen item may face the same criminal penalties as if someone who physically stole the item from the store shelf.

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How is Burglary Different from Trespassing in Cook County?

 Posted on April 08, 2022 in Criminal Law

IL defense lawyerEveryone has heard the classic line that “your home is your castle.” This means that your residence is considered sacred, and deserves protection from unwanted intrusion by others. One way Illinois recognizes this right is through its laws against burglary and criminal trespass to a residence. These are both types of unwanted home intrusion. But how are they different?

What is Criminal Trespass to a Residence?

In Illinois law, if you knowingly enter someone else’s home, or stay there without their permission, that is considered “criminal trespass.” The key to charging and proving this criminal offense is intent. For the trespass to be unlawful, the offender must have knowingly entered the property without the owner’s permission or stayed there after knowing that they were unwelcome there.

Accidentally wandering onto someone’s property is not criminal trespass—but intentionally ignoring no trespassing signs or a locked door may be. If the property is unoccupied at the time, this offense is considered a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison, or two years probation with formal supervision. If the home is occupied, it is considered a Class 4 felony punishable by up to three years in prison.

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What is the Difference Between Assault and Battery in Cook County?

 Posted on March 21, 2022 in Criminal Law

shutterstock_2036968964.jpgWe’ve all heard the phrase “assault and battery,” as though this were a single offense. So you may be surprised that in Illinois, unlike some states, these are actually two different crimes that can be charged separately. Under Illinois law, battery is either conduct causing bodily harm or insulting, provocative, or unwanted physical contact with another person. Assault, on the other hand, is intentional conduct that causes the fear of imminent violence. So while a battery would generally include actual physical contact or injury, an assault would merely be a real or implied threat of physical harm.

Why does this matter? Because in Illinois, even without laying a finger on someone, just threatening them with words or actions until they feared for their safety is a crime that deserves punishment.

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What Are the Penalties for Child Pornography Offenses in Illinois?

 Posted on February 15, 2022 in Criminal Law

IL defense lawyerCrimes that affect children are taken very seriously, and a person who is accused of these types of offenses may face a lengthy prison sentence if they are convicted, as well as multiple other types of penalties. Sex crimes that allegedly involve child victims are considered to be especially reprehensible, and offenses related to child pornography will usually be investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Those who are accused of possessing, distributing, or producing child pornography will need to understand the specific charges they may face, the penalties that may apply if they are convicted, and their options for defense.

Illinois Child Pornography Crimes

According to Illinois law, child pornography may include any depictions of a child under the age of 18 engaging in sexual conduct. This may include actual or simulated sexual intercourse and other activities meant to stimulate sexual arousal, as well as depictions of a child’s unclothed genitals or other private parts. Child pornography may consist of photographs, videos, live performances, or other visual depictions of children that are sexual in nature. Depictions of a person over the age of 18 with a severe intellectual disability may also be considered child pornography.

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When Can a Person Face Criminal Charges for Retail Theft in Illinois?

 Posted on January 21, 2022 in Theft

Il defense lawyerThere are a variety of situations where a person may face criminal charges based on accusations of theft. Some of the most common charges in these cases involve claims that a person has committed retail theft, which is commonly known as shoplifting. While this may seem like a relatively minor offense, there are a variety of factors that may result in serious charges that can lead to large fines or significant jail time if a person is convicted. By understanding the types of actions that could lead to these charges and the potential penalties for these offenses, those who have been accused of retail theft can determine their best options for defense.

Misdemeanor or Felony Retail Theft Charges

Illinois law defines several different types of actions that are considered retail theft. In general, these charges may apply if a person takes any merchandise from a retail store without paying the full retail value. While pocketing or concealing items and leaving a store is one of the most common forms of shoplifting, retail theft charges may also apply if a person alters or removes price tags or transfers items into different packaging with the intent of paying a lower price. Intentionally under-ringing the price of an item is also considered to be retail theft, including when it is done by a cashier or a customer using a self-checkout. A person may also face criminal charges if they fail to return property to its owner after renting or leasing equipment.

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6 Reasons Your First Chicago Area DUI Could Be a Felony

 Posted on December 14, 2021 in DUI

IL defense lawyerIt is true that a first-time simple DUI is usually charged as a misdemeanor, both in Illinois and elsewhere. If the case is relatively simple and you did not cause any real harm, you might even get court supervision instead of jail time. However, there are some circumstances that render even a first-time DUI so serious that it will be treated as a felony. If you are facing felony DUI charges, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to put forth a strong defense in the hopes of having your charges at least reduced back to a misdemeanor.

What Circumstances Make a First DUI a Felony?

In Illinois, a felony DUI is considered an “aggravated DUI.” This means that there are circumstances present that make the offense more serious. A third DUI is automatically a Class 3 felony, but a first DUI is usually a misdemeanor. However, even a first DUI can be charged as a felony in these circumstances:

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What Does Chicago's Ban on Assault Weapons Mean?

 Posted on November 11, 2021 in Weapons Charges

IL defense lawyerSince 2019, the city of Chicago has put a ban on “assault weapons.” This law was in response to a series of mass shootings taking place in Illinois and across the entire nation, mostly involving large, automatic rifles. No single, unified definition of an “assault weapon” exists. States have turned to varying formulations and definitions in an attempt to define what constitutes an “assault weapon.” It is important for Cook County gun owners to be familiar with how the law actually defines possession of an assault weapon, lest you find yourself facing a firearms charge.

What is the Definition of an Assault Weapon in Chicago?

There are several ways to be in possession of an “assault weapon” in Chicago. City code defines an assault weapon as “any weapon that shoots . . . automatically, more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.” This definition would include all automatic rifles. If you hold down the trigger and more than one bullet comes out, you may be looking at an assault weapon by Chicago’s standards.

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What Does "Mutual Combat" Mean?

 Posted on October 12, 2021 in Assault

IL defense lawyerA recent decision by Cook County prosecutors not to pursue charges against five suspected gang members involved in a fatal Chicago shootout left many locals surprised and confused. Although all five were arrested on suspicion of murder and aggravated battery, they were later released from jail without being formally charged. The reason prosecutors cite for declining to charge the shooters is that they were engaged in “mutual combat,” according to a police report. But what does that mean?

If you are facing violent crime charges of any type, contacting an attorney as soon as possible is of great importance. You may have defenses available to you depending on the circumstances of your individual case, but you will need an experienced attorney to put on the best possible defense.

What Is the Legal Definition of “Mutual Combat”?

Simply put, mutual combat occurs when two adults willingly fight. In legal terms, mutual combat is defined as “a fight or struggle which both parties enter willingly or where two persons, upon a sudden quarrel and in hot blood, mutually fight upon equal terms and where death results from the combat.” This definition comes from a decision by the Supreme Court of Illinois in the case of People v. Austin, which dates back to 1990.

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