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Joliet criminal defense lawyerThe topic of hate crimes has been in the news more and more over the past few years. In efforts to increase awareness about these types of crimes, police officers and government officials have focused more attention on hate crimes. Time, energy, and resources have been put into thoroughly investigating hate crimes, and legislation has enhanced the penalties for them. In Illinois, those who commit hate crimes are often charged with a felony offense and punished to the fullest extent of the law. To avoid being charged with a hate crime, it is important to understand what actions constitute them and also the criminal punishments if convicted of one.   

Violent Acts Committed Against Others

A hate crime occurs when a person commits a crime against another person or group because of their perceived race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or physical or mental disability. Typically, the acts committed against individuals in a hate crime are violent in nature and can include such offenses as:

  • Assault 

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Joliet truck accident attorneySince they transport goods and supplies such as food, truck drivers are considered essential workers and have been working throughout the past year despite COVID-19 restrictions and shutdowns. In many cases, truckers have been working hard to deliver critical PPE or medical supplies to hospitals overwhelmed by the number of coronavirus patients. With increased pressure to deliver products in a timely manner, delivery drivers and trucking companies in general may not be adhering to protocol in regards to their hours of service. Failure to follow rules for driving can lead to tired drivers who then cause truck accidents.     

FMCSA Safety Act

Commercial truck drivers in Illinois must have a special license to operate such large vehicles. Individuals who are 18 or older can obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) after successfully passing written and driving skills tests. In addition, drivers must already have a valid Illinois driver’s license and pay a fee for the CDL. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Administration Safety Act (FMCSA) established specific safety guidelines for truck drivers to ensure that they get adequate rest and do not drive for too many consecutive hours. Here are a few of the Hours of Service (HOS) guidelines for a CMV driver:

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Joliet workers' compensation lawyerThe coronavirus pandemic has affected the world in many ways, causing a global health and economic crisis. After taking office this year, President Joe Biden signed several executive orders that addressed COVID-19 worker protections. As of now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) protocols outlined in the executive orders are guidelines, but it is expected that these guidelines will soon become enforceable. Some of President Biden’s directives to OSHA were concerning COVID-19 guidelines and another was to potentially implement emergency temporary standards to address the hazards that employees face in the workplace. If these guidelines become standards, they will then be enforceable. The executive order stated that the deadline to make these changes is March 15, 2021. Workers may wonder how these guidelines may affect workers’ compensation claims if they suffer a COVID-related illness while on the job. 

Keeping Workers Safe

Employers should take steps to protect workers who are at higher risks due to underlying medical conditions. It is important that companies train employees on their COVID-19 policies and procedures and that they are easily accessible.

Several of the current OSHA-recommended COVID-19 guidelines for employers state that employers should do the following: 

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Joliet criminal defense attorneyMany people think assault and battery are one and the same. However, under Illinois law, they are two separate offenses. The crime of assault in Illinois refers to intentional actions that cause a person to feel afraid of impending violence. Battery in Illinois consists of insulting or provoking physical contact, including intentionally pushing or harming someone, such as hitting and injuring them with a dangerous object. Domestic battery is when battery is committed against a family or household member, such as a spouse, intimate romantic partner, or child. If certain conditions are present during the commission of this crime, it may be classified as aggravated domestic battery, which carries significant penalties if convicted. 

Aggravating Factors Elevate the Punishments

Aggravated battery is typically classified as a misdemeanor even though it is more serious in nature than simple assault or battery. However, it may be charged as a felony depending on the circumstances of the case. Factors that make the crime aggravated include:

  • Committing assault or battery with a firearm

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Joliet personal injury lawyerAlthough babies are born every day, complications during childbirth can result in serious to fatal injuries. Even if a woman is not considered high risk and has a pregnancy without any medical issues, problems can sometimes occur during labor and delivery if she is not closely monitored. If delivering at a hospital, medical staff have a duty of care to keep the mother and baby safe. However, when there is a lapse in judgment or training, medical mistakes or errors can be made. This may be considered medical malpractice or negligence if birth injuries occur as a result. If you or your child suffered an injury during childbirth, it is important to determine liability and hold the appropriate parties accountable. A reputable medical malpractice attorney can help you pursue a personal injury claim. 

Life-Threatening Complications

In the United States, statistics show that hundreds of women die during childbirth every year. Just as concerning is the alarming rate of serious maternal injuries, referred to as severe maternal morbidity. Affecting mothers in over 1 percent of all births, or approximately 50,000 cases every year, these injuries may be caused if medical staff does not take proper precautions or actions to ensure the safety of the baby and mother. 

Serious complications that can harm the mother while she is giving birth may include:

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