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Will County criminal defense attorneyWhen someone sees a “no trespassing” sign, he or she may not take it very seriously. It may seem more like a request to stay off of someone’s yard than an actual law. In legal terms, trespassing is defined as physically being on another person’s property without permission. Property owners have the right to call the police and have trespassers arrested and charged if they are on their premises. Generally, trespassing is charged as a misdemeanor offense in Illinois. However, if a person trespasses on a certain type of property or with the intent to commit a crime such as burglary, it could be charged as a felony. 

Different Forms of Trespassing

It is important to note that under Illinois law, there are two types of trespassing, civil and criminal. Civil trespass typically involves a tenant-landlord situation in which a tenant fails to pay rent but still remains in the residence. The police will not get involved until the eviction process is formally started. Criminal trespass to property, residence, or vehicle are more serious offenses, which can lead to fines and imprisonment depending on the circumstances. A few examples of this type of trespassing include the following:

  • Entering a building you do not have permission to be in
  • Stepping foot on property when there are “no trespassing” signs clearly posted
  • Using false documents to receive permission from the owner to enter or remain in a building
  • Refusing to leave someone’s home after being asked to leave
  • Operating or entering a vehicle, boat, plane, or snowmobile without permission to do so. 

Illinois Punishments for Trespassers

According to Illinois Criminal code, criminal trespassing can be prosecuted either as a Class A  or B misdemeanor, or even a Class 3 or 4 felony. The penalties for these offenses are as follows:

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Will County traffic violations attorneyFederal and state laws are constantly changing for various reasons. In some cases, new legislation reflects an update to the punishment, definition, or statute of limitations for a criminal act. In Illinois, there are 250 new laws set to go into effect on January 1, 2020. These regulations cover a range of crimes, including drug sale or possession, sexual offenses, and traffic violations. Depending on the type of offense, traffic crimes may be classified as “moving or nonmoving violations.” Moving violations are more serious in nature, which could potentially lead to injury or even wrongful death. Although many people view traffic citations as an annoyance, they are meant to deter poor driving habits by motorists. Any changes to traffic laws are generally made to increase the safety of everyone on the roadways. 

Passing a Stopped School Bus

Currently, there are many actions that constitute a traffic violation. Some of the more serious offenses can include driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI), reckless driving, and operating a vehicle without proof of auto insurance. Specific laws for driving in school zones are put in place to protect children from risks when crossing the street or getting on and off a bus. It has long been illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing, both inside and outside of school zones. Due to changes in the law, the fines for such a violation will increase dramatically in 2020. 

Beginning on New Year’s Day, the penalty for passing a stopped school bus will now be a $300 fine for a first offense. If an offender violates this law a second time, the fine increases to $1,000.

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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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