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Will County Criminal Defense LawyerThe COVID-19 pandemic not only changed the way Americans live their lives, but it also created many opportunities for committing fraud. Many of these schemes involved the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, and Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs. The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged hundreds of defendants with crimes that were based on these schemes.

The FBI recently announced a new fraudulent scheme they are cracking down on - counterfeit COVID-19 vaccine cards. The agency has also declared that anyone who is charged and convicted of this crime faces harsh penalties. And as we approach the weekend of Chicago’s annual four-day Lollapalooza music festival, Illinois lawmakers are also warning people that it is not only illegal to make counterfeit COVID-19 vaccine cards, but also to use them.

COVID-19 Vaccine Cards

When a person receives their first shot of the COVID vaccine, they receive a card with their personal information and the date and brand of vaccine they received. If they require a second dose, that information is also entered on the card. This card is the only proof that the individual is fully vaccinated.

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Illinois Eliminates Cash Bail

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Will County Criminal Defense LawyerIllinois has become the first state in the country to eliminate cash bail for defendants who are arrested for a crime under the Illinois Pretrial Fairness Act, which was part of the state’s larger criminal justice reform bill. The new law is being lauded by defendant advocacy groups, who say that cash bail requirements penalize poorer defendants but benefit wealthy ones. Law enforcement officials have been vocal in their stance against the act, saying that it will ultimately put the general public at risk because of criminals being allowed to remain free pending trial.

Illinois Cash Bail System

When a person is arrested and charged with a crime, a judge determines how much bail a defendant will need to post in order to be released while awaiting trial. In Illinois, the current system is a cash bail system. This means that the defendant is required to pay a certain percentage of the amount of bail the judge sets in order to be released. In most cases in Illinois, the bond amount that needs to be posted is usually 10 percent of the bail amount the judge set. For example, if the judge sets bail at $10,000, the defendant would have to post $1,000 cash to be released.

Proponents who pushed for the no cash bail law say that requiring people who have no financial resources to sit in jail until their trial concludes is cruel and unfair. If a person cannot make bail, they are forced to sit in jail until their trial is concluded, often forcing them into making plea deals just so they can get out of jail.

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Will County Gun Possession LawyerGun violence in the city of Chicago has reached almost epidemic proportions. The issue is not only well known throughout Illinois but continues to consistently appear in national headlines, as well. Last year, Chicago had more than 3,200 shootings, a 50 percent increase from the previous year. Homicides also increased by 50 percent from 2019. And while there has been a slight decrease so far this year, the numbers of shootings are still high.

Chicago Mayor Announces New Gun Program

So far in 2021, Chicago police have confiscated more than 6,300 illegal firearms and anticipate that they will collect more than 12,000 illegal guns by the end of the year, even more than last year’s record-breaker of 11,000 seizures. In an effort to combat these numbers, Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot has announced a $1 million rewards program to get illegal guns off the street. In her announcement of the program, the mayor said the number of illegal guns seized in Chicago is more than double the illegal firearms confiscated in both L.A. and New York City combined.

Details of the plan are still being finalized, including when the plan will be launched and how much individual rewards will be. All calls will go through the Chicago P.D.’s tip line.

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joliet criminal defense lawyerYears ago, when a person wanted to take a photo, they needed to have a camera with film. They then had to take or send that film somewhere to be developed into hard copy prints. Today, smartphones, electronic devices, social media, text messaging, and emails have all changed the way we take and share photos. This also includes photos and videos that could be considered “racy” or inappropriate for public viewing. This has led to materials that were meant to be private shared without the subject’s permission by another party whose intention is to cause harm. This has become such a problem that it has resulted in many states, including Illinois, to pass revenge porn laws.

Revenge Porn

Revenge porn is a type of digital abuse where one party distributes intimate material of another party without their consent. It often occurs between couples who break up – hence the “revenge” description – but can also be involved in blackmail attempts.

In 2015, the state of Illinois confronted revenge porn issues head-on and passed a law that made the act a Class 4 felony. Penalties if convicted include up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. In addition, the victim can file a civil lawsuit against the defendant for financial damages.

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joliet playground accident lawyerEach year, more than 220,000 children end up at emergency rooms with playground-related injuries. These injuries range from fractures to internal bleeding to head injuries. In fact, more than 20,000 children sustain some form of traumatic brain injury in playground accidents every year. After a year of pandemic restrictions, children are more eager than ever to play with friends at parks, playgrounds, and summer camps and there is a concern that there may be a spike in the number of children injured. How can parents protect their children from these injuries and who is liable when they occur?

Playground Injuries

National data collected on playground accidents and injuries show that the most common cause of injuries to children are falls, resulting in about 45 percent of all emergency room visits. The most common injury that sends parents rushing to the ER is bone fractures, followed by cuts, bruises, sprains, and injuries to internal organs.

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Will County Bar Association Illinois State Bar Association Lions Minooka AV 2019 Rotary DuPage County Bar Association
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