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Joliet criminal defense attorneyThe sheer number of homicides in the news over the past few years has put a spotlight on Chicago’s gun violence. Illinois statutes regulate the use, possession, and carrying of a firearm, but the law can be confusing, and even gun owners can sometimes misunderstand it. Illinois residents are allowed to possess a gun or ammunition if they qualify for a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card, which is issued by the Illinois State Police. 

Any criminal charge involving a weapon is taken seriously in the state of Illinois. When a person is arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm, it can impact the rest of his or her life. In some cases, a criminal record can be hard to erase. Interviewing for a job or trying to secure a home loan can be difficult when a criminal charge comes up on a background check.  

Unlawful Use of a Weapon Penalties

Under Illinois law, the unlawful use of a weapon (UUW) is a serious crime. If person does not have a conceal and carry permit, he or she can be charged with a misdemeanor UUW if he or she is found to be carrying a gun. If the gun was loaded and the person does not possess a FOID Card, he or she may be charged with an aggravated UUW, which is classified as a Class 4 felony in Illinois. Another example of a Class 4 felony is reckless discharge of a firearm. In certain scenarios, a second offense of these can be charged as a Class 3 felony. If a convicted felon is found in possession of a firearm, he or she may face a Class X felony.

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Will County DUI Defense AttorneyAccording to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 10,497 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2016, accounting for 28 percent of all traffic-related deaths in the United States that year. One way of trying to prevent drunk driving crashes is by performing DUI stops. During this type of traffic stop, a police officer may ask an alleged drunk driver to submit to a series of tests to determine his or her level of impairment. A field sobriety test is used by police officers when a motorist is stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, the accuracy of these tests is often questioned. Consequently, it is important to note that a driver can refuse to submit to a field sobriety test without penalty in Illinois. 

What Do the Tests Involve?  

The Standard Field Sobriety Test (SFST) is a series of three tests that judge a person’s ability to perform certain tasks that require specific motor skills. Statistics show that these tests have been proven to confirm legal intoxication (.08 or higher BAC) in motorists suspected of drunk driving in 90 percent of cases if conducted properly by a law enforcement officer. 

The three tests that comprise the SFST are:

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Joliet wrongful death attorneysAccidents of any type can result in serious injuries, but in some cases, they can also cause the wrongful death of the victim. The loss of a beloved relative can traumatize a family for years. It can be difficult to accept his or her untimely demise at the hands of another person. This can be especially true if the incident was preventable and was caused by a negligent party’s wrongdoing. 

In certain situations, such as a homicide, the death may have been caused intentionally. Regardless of whether the death was the result of a motor vehicle accident or medical malpractice, the deceased person’s surviving spouse and next of kin may be entitled to monetary compensation. In some cases, this may be particularly important if the victim was the sole provider of the family’s income. It is important to know what constitutes wrongful death and how to seek damages for this type of tragedy.   

Illinois Wrongful Death Act

The Illinois Wrongful Death Act specifically defines “wrongful death” of a victim and various aspects of filing a claim, such as: 

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Joliet traffic violations attorneyIn today’s society, everyone is busy, going from place to place in a hurry. However, speeding in Illinois is a serious criminal offense. Studies show that traveling at a high rate of speed can cause severe and even fatal car accidents. Speed limits are put in place to protect drivers and pedestrians. In school zones, the speed is reduced even more than on other roadways due the presence of young children. According to the Transportation Research Board, approximately 25,000 children are injured and 100 are killed in school zone accidents each year. It is important for any Illinois driver to know the speed limits when traveling in school zones to avoid a serious traffic violation

Illinois Traffic Laws for School Zones

Under Illinois law, school zone speed limits are set at 20 miles per hour on school days when children are present. It is enforced only when children are likely to be on the street or outside the school building within the designated school zone parameters. However, the 20 mph speed limit is not in effect when children are inside the school building during normal class time. 

Any public or private school may have an established school zone around it, including institutions run by religious organizations. These school zones are typically in effect from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. and must display clear signage that indicates it is a school zone, the 20 mph speed limit, and that the limit is restricted to when school is in session and children are present.

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Joliet property crimes defense attorneyWhen people hear the words burglary and robbery, they may think they are the same crime. Although similar in nature, there are differences that make them separate in terms of penalties. Whether or not a weapon was involved in committing the act also factors into the legal consequences. Burglary is when a person illegally enters a building in order to commit a crime while inside. Robbery involves taking money or property from a person without permission by force or intimidation with the intent to keep the property permanently. In Illinois, both burglary and robbery convictions are serious crimes and can result in significant prison time in addition to steep fines.   

Penalties for Burglary and Robbery

In most cases, burglary is considered a felony. Illinois laws determine burglary penalties based on certain factors such as:

  • The type of crime the offender intended to commit inside the building;
  • If the perpetrator was armed with a weapon;
  • The type of building involved; and
  • If the building was occupied at the time

The penalties for a burglary conviction depend on the felony class. Typically, burglary is a Class 2 felony in Illinois, which may result in a prison sentence of three to seven years. In some situations, burglary can be charged as a Class 1 felony, which can result in four to 15 years in prison. For felonies that are Class 2 or Class 1, the state may increase the sentence if the defendant has prior convictions for Class 2 felonies or higher. The state may also require a fine up to $25,000.

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