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Joliet criminal defense attorneyMuch has been made in recent years of necessary reforms to the criminal bail system. Nevertheless, until bail is no longer required or there is another way to ensure people charged with crimes appear in court, bail will continue to plague people who have yet to be proven guilty. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a crime in Illinois, you should know as much as you can about how the bail system works. 

What is Bail? 

When someone is accused of a crime in Illinois, the state has several options. Depending on the severity of the crime, the alleged perpetrator may be kept in jail, released on bail, or released without having to post bail. If someone has enough money to pay the full amount of bail with cash, he or she can do that. If not, a jail may allow a surety bond, which lets the defendant out of jail after 10 to 15 percent of the bail is posted. No matter what happens, the defendant never gets back the 10 percent of a surety bond because the court keeps it as a fee. 

What Happens to Bail if I Do Not Show Up to Court as Ordered? 

If you posted bail on the condition that you would attend future court dates, even if you miss that court date by accident, the consequences can be very costly. In addition to forfeiting (losing) the entire bail, you can be put back in jail and charged with a Class C misdemeanor for missing court. Violating other bail conditions, such as possessing a firearm while out on bail, can also cause you to lose your bail and incur further criminal charges. 


Will County Criminal Defense AttorneyAs any parent of a young child knows, sometimes running errands while constantly buckling a tantruming or sleeping child in and out of a car seat is simply too much to ask. Frustrated and exhausted, parents will often lock a child in a car and quickly run into the grocery store or post office, complete their business, and hurry back out to find all is well. 

Unfortunately, even if the parent feels the child is safe, this may result in criminal charges. Under certain circumstances, Illinois law prohibits leaving young children unattended in a vehicle because doing so can place a child at significant risk. If you have been charged with child endangerment for leaving your child in a car, read on. 

Is Leaving a Child in a Car Really Child Endangerment? 

Many parents, especially those living in rural areas who grew up with plenty of independence, have a hard time understanding how a cautious parent who leaves a sleeping child in a car could be guilty of child endangerment. Yet a child left alone in a car is subject to many hazards, including: 


Joliet weapons violations attorneyHaving a gun on your person or in your car in Illinois without a concealed carry permit is a gun crime. Illinois does not allow open carry, which is the practice of openly having a firearm in public. Therefore, in order to go anywhere with a gun outside of your home, you must have a concealed carry permit in Illinois (excluding transportation of firearms, which only requires the gun to be contained in an enclosed case). 

Only people who are 21 and older, who have completed the appropriate training course, and who have a Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID) may have a concealed carry permit, and only handguns may be concealed. While following these rules may seem onerous, they are absolutely essential for preventing criminal charges. If you have been charged with a concealed carry permit violation, you may want the help of a criminal defense attorney. 

Concealed Carry License Violations in Illinois

Certain areas may not have guns brought into them, even with a concealed carry license. Schools, government buildings such as courthouses, and buildings in state and national parks do not allow concealed carrying. Carrying or using a firearm illegally in these places, even with a concealed carry license, is considered an Unlawful Use of a Weapon (UUW) offense. 


shutterstock_540796327.jpgDriving while drunk is a criminal offense in the state of Illinois. As such, if you are pulled over because you have been found to be operating a motor vehicle with alcohol in your system, you could be subjected to an array of penalties for breaking the law. 

Illinois Laws Regarding Driving While Drunk 

In Illinois, operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) equal to or greater than 0.08% is considered intoxicated per se.  In other words, anyone driving a vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration that exceeds 0.079% is considered to be driving while drunk. However, it is possible to face arrest for driving under the influence even if your BAC is under the legal limit. It is also illegal to operate a vehicle if you are impaired by prescription medications or controlled substances. 

Individuals who are operating commercial vehicles, such as school bus drivers, with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.04% are also legally drunk in the eyes of Illinois law. If you are under the age of twenty-one and operating any type of motor vehicle in Illinois, you can face penalties under the Illinois Zero Tolerance policy if your blood-alcohol concentration exceeds zero. 


joliet criminal defense lawyerUnder Illinois criminal law, when a person is charged with a serious crime, it is up to the prosecutor to take the legal steps to charge the accused with a felony crime. There are cases where a prosecutor will decide not to pursue felony charges, and the charges the police arrested the accused on are dropped, even if the police disagree with the prosecutor’s decision. However, a group of Illinois lawmakers are seeking to change all that and have recently filed legislation that would allow police chiefs to override the prosecutor’s decision.

Felony Process

Under the current law, there is a standard process that every case must go through before a person can be charged with a felony. The first step to this process is the police investigation. If the police feel they have probable cause to charge a person they suspect of committing a crime, they will place them under arrest. In some cases, this involves obtaining an arrest warrant, while in other cases – such as during a traffic stop – the officer can arrest the individual right on the spot.

After they are arrested, the accused will have a bond hearing where they will enter their plea of guilty or not guilty, and the judge will decide if the defendant can be released on bond and how much that bond should be.

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