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Joliet criminal defense attorneyIn order for a person to be convicted of a criminal offense, the prosecution typically must provide evidence that a crime was committed. A search warrant is a legal document that allows police officers to enter certain places to attempt to retrieve evidence. Recent news reports about police searching the wrong home have surfaced, shedding light on the use of search warrants. Specifically, “no-knock” search warrants have faced harsh criticism and scrutiny across the country. Common among drug crimes, weapons violations, and theft, search warrants are relied upon to establish a defendant’s guilt in most cases. However, it may not be as cut-and-dry as you might think. Depending on the circumstance, a criminal defense attorney may be able to contest the admission of evidence seized in the search and prevent it from being used in your case.

Your Fourth Amendment Rights

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects U.S. citizens and their property from unreasonable search and seizure. According to its doctrine, warrants must be issued with probable cause based on a sworn affirmation, and they must also describe the exact location to be searched as well as the items to be seized. Illinois law includes provisions to ensure that warrants are issued and executed in compliance with the Fourth Amendment, and if those provisions are not upheld, law enforcement may be violating your rights.

You may be able to contest the admission of evidence obtained with a search warrant based on several factors. For example, a clerical error could be made on the affidavit supporting probable cause, or it may include false information, making any evidence inadmissible. It is also important to note that a police officer may only seize the evidence designated in the warrant.

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Joliet criminal defense attorneyMany people look forward to the winter holidays for various reasons, including gathering with friends and family to exchange gifts and share a meal. However, this holiday season is unlike most others in our lifetime due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on society. In order to slow the spread of the contagious virus, many non-essential businesses have closed or reduced capacity and staff. This has put a significant strain on individuals who are struggling to pay their bills let alone buy Christmas gifts. According to national statistics, more theft crimes occur during the holidays even without a pandemic going on. For instance, larceny during the month of December is 22 percent higher than the average rate for larceny in all other months combined. If you or your loved one is facing charges for any kind of theft crime, it is essential to consult a skilled criminal defense attorney who can help reduce your sentence or have your case dismissed altogether. 

Different Types of Theft Offenses

Illinois takes theft crimes seriously, and therefore, it is important to understand what actions constitute these crimes. Common theft crimes such as robbery and burglary are often intertwined, but they are actually separate offenses under Illinois law. Robbery is defined as taking something from someone by force. However, if an individual feels threatened in any way, the theft charge escalates to robbery. 

Burglary means entering an area in which a person does not have the owner’s permission or authorization. Similar to trespassing, the main difference is the offender’s intent. The prosecution must prove that the defendant intended to commit a felony or steal an item. Possible charges can range from a Class 1 to a Class 2 felony. However, if the break-in with intent was at a daycare facility or a church building, it is enhanced to a Class 1 felony with a mandatory four-year prison term that could also go up to 15 years and include a maximum fine of $25,000. 

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Will County criminal defense attorneyOne bad mistake can lead to a heap of trouble, including criminal charges if an illegal act was committed. If you have been arrested for a crime in Illinois, you may be wondering what to expect if you have not had any previous experience with the criminal justice system. Under Illinois law, an accused individual can be kept in custody, released on his or her own recognizance, or released on bail. If released on bail, a bond must be paid, which ensures the defendant’s appearance for future court dates and compliance with any other conditions of release. Typically, once a criminal case is over, 10 percent of the money posted is awarded to the clerk for the costs of posting bond. When someone posts bail, he or she must comply with certain restrictions or conditions of the bail bond. A violation of these rules can lead to further criminal charges. 

Bail Bond Restrictions

In cases where a person is eligible for bail, the judge will usually consider the defendant’s past criminal history, the nature of the offense, the likelihood of him or her fleeing, and the risk he or she poses to others. A few of the most common terms of bail in Illinois include:

  • Appearing at all court dates

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Joliet drug defense lawyerCriminal charges can take many forms based on the severity of the offense. Recent legislation made recreational marijuana use legal for those over the age of 21 in Illinois. However, most other controlled substances are illegal, and they can carry stiff punishments for those who commit a drug crime. Although the United States has been fighting the war on drugs for a long time, these types of offenses continue across the country. According to crime statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), there were 1.6 million arrests made for drug crimes in 2018, a number that has increased every year since 2015, after declining in the prior decade. If you or someone you know is facing any type of drug charges, it can ruin your personal and professional life. Therefore, it is imperative that you hire a criminal defense attorney who is well-versed in Illinois drug laws to help you obtain a positive outcome.

Illinois Drug Laws

Adults who reside in Illinois may possess up to 30 grams of cannabis flower, 5 grams of cannabis concentrate, and up to 500 milligrams of THC in a cannabis-infused product. If an individual possesses more than 30 grams of marijuana but less than 100 grams, it is a Class A misdemeanor. This crime carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. For second or subsequent offenses, the charge can be elevated to a Class 4 felony with 1-3 years in jail in addition to a fine up to $25,000. The penalties increase depending on the amount of the substances involved. 

Those who are convicted for possession with the intent to deliver or sell face much harsher penalties than those who were charged with simple possession. Depending on the amount of the illegal substance, the crime could be charged as a Class 3 or X felony.

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Joliet criminal defense lawyerMost criminal acts have significant legal consequences in an effort to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Although any crime is serious, those against children are punished severely throughout the United States, including Illinois. There are many different offenses that constitute a crime against a child, and it is important to understand what they are. Otherwise, you could be facing steep fines and a lengthy prison term. In some cases, you may unintentionally commit a criminal act without realizing it was illegal. In other scenarios, you could be wrongfully accused of a crime by your ex-spouse who is seeking revenge after your divorce. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help determine the best course of action for your situation based on the details of your charges. 

Illinois Laws to Protect Minors

Under Illinois law, an individual can face harsh penalties for causing a significant risk of harm to children. While many of those accused are guilty of the crimes with which they are charged, some may be innocent. Here are several examples of crimes against minors and their corresponding punishments: 

  • Child endangerment: The law defines child endangerment as causing or permitting the life or health of a child under the age of 18 to be endangered, or placing a child in a situation that endangers his or her life or health. This may include leaving a child in a vehicle or home unattended, driving while intoxicated with a minor in the car, and using drugs in front of a child. In Illinois, child endangerment is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. Probation may be possible if the person convicted is the child’s parent. Two or more convictions are Class 3 felonies. 

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