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joliet defense lawyerIf you are a fan of television crime shows, you have likely watched a scene where police characters play the “good cop, bad cop” roles. This is where one officer comes off as aggressive and menacing to the person who is being interrogated, while the other officer acts as their ally, encouraging them to tell the truth about what they know regarding the crime being investigated. Police officers are allowed to use many tactics like this in order to get a suspect or material witness to confess what they know. But just how far is too far and what law enforcement actions violate a person’s constitutional rights?

False Confessions

The Fifth Amendment grants several rights to protect individuals during a criminal investigation or proceeding, including guaranteeing the individual due process of law, prohibits double jeopardy, and protects the individual against self-incrimination. Unfortunately, the Fifth Amendment does not always protect an individual from any of the many deceitful tactics that police officers use to coerce a confession from a suspect. The ability for law enforcement to use these tactics has even been approved by the U.S. Supreme Court (Frazier v. Cupp, 394 U.S. 731).

One of the more frequent ploys that police use in order to get a suspect to confess to a crime is to lie about the evidence they actually have. They may tell the suspect that they have DNA evidence linking them to the crime when they actually do not have that evidence. They can also lie about another suspect’s “confession” that the person they are interrogating helped in the commission of the crime.

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Will County teen driver car accident lawyerWhile Memorial Day is traditionally the kickoff of summer season, it is also the beginning of what has been deemed the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer.” Safety advocates use this term to call attention to the increased dangers teen drivers face during the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day. According to national statistics, there are approximately 10 people killed in teen driver car crashes each day during this period. Over the past decade, there have been almost 300 people killed in crashes involving teen drivers during the 100 deadliest days in the state of Illinois.

Dangerous Time on the Roads

The summer means more motorists are on the road as people take vacations and day trips. More motorists also mean more car accidents, injuries, and deaths. It also means more teen drivers are on the road, since school is out for the summer. Many of these teen drivers are inexperienced, and they sometimes act recklessly. Tragically, statistics about teen drivers bear this out:

  • Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens.

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Joliet workers’ comp lawyer for independent contractorsIn January of this year, the Department of Labor – still under the Trump administration – announced a final rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) clarifying the standard for determining whether a worker is an employee versus an independent contractor. The standard that was created by this rule gave a significant amount of control to employers to classify workers as independent contractors, making it difficult for those employees to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits and other benefits the federal government requires under the FLSA. That rule went into effect on March 6, 2021.

With a new administration comes new standards, and the Department of Labor – now under President Biden – recently announced that rule is being withdrawn in order to protect employees and give them the benefits they are entitled to. The effective date of withdrawal was May 6, 2021.

The Independent Contractor Rule

Under the final rule, which was fully supported by the national business community, there were two factors that determined if a worker was an employee or an independent contractor. These were:

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Will County drug possession defense attorneyIt is no secret that Illinois and the rest of the country are in the grips of a major drug epidemic. It is estimated that the United States is losing more than 80,000 victims each year to drug overdoses. Because Illinois still treats drug possession of any amount of controlled substances as a criminal offense, victims who are overdosing or friends who are with them at the time may be hesitant to call 911 for help because they are afraid they will be arrested. Fortunately, a new Illinois law may save lives in these situations.

Illinois HB 158

Naloxone is an emergency antidote that is used in opioid overdoses. When a person is suffering an overdose, a shot of naloxone can literally save their life. Emergency responders can administer naloxone if they are called to the scene of an overdose in time. A new law that recently went into effect in Illinois removes any risk of punishment for a small amount of drug possession if a person is seeking help for a drug overdose. This will ensure that a person can call 911 and receive emergency assistance without the fear of facing criminal charges. Lawmakers and law enforcement officials who support the new law say their goal is to enable people who are struggling with drug addiction to get the help they need.

Under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, drugs are broken down into five different schedules. Opioids and opium derivatives fall into the Schedule I class. About 80 percent of all fatal overdoses that happen each year in Illinois involve opioids. Under the current law, possession of a Schedule I drug is charged as a Class 1 felony. A conviction comes with a minimum of one year in jail and hefty fines.

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Joliet, IL motorcycle crash attorneyThe warm weather has finally arrived in Illinois after a long, cold winter, and this is welcome news for motorcycle enthusiasts. Every year, the month of May is designated National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, serving as an important reminder to motorcyclists and drivers of other vehicles of important safety habits they should follow to minimize the risk of being involved in a motorcycle crash.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

At one time, only “bikers” in gangs drove motorcycles. That has significantly changed over the past several decades, and currently, women and men from all walks of life own motorcycles and enjoy riding. It is estimated that more than 13 million motorcycles are registered in the United States. While they account for less than 5 percent of the number of registered vehicles on the road, they make up for about 15 percent of all traffic deaths each year, and motorcycle accidents result in the death of approximately 5,000 victims. Another 90,000 victims are injured, many of them seriously.

National statistics show that 80 percent of all motorcycle accidents cause serious injuries or death. A rider on a motorcycle is 29 times more at risk of suffering fatal injuries in a crash than occupants in a passenger car accident. These high numbers are due to the lack of protection a person on a motorcycle has when a bike is struck by another vehicle. Tragically, the number of riders who are injured or killed in motorcycle crashes keeps increasing each year.

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Will County Bar Association Illinois State Bar Association Lions Minooka AV 2019 Rotary DuPage County Bar Association
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