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DuPage County criminal defense lawyerThe holiday season is approaching fast, and you can expect to see an uptick in receiving packages to your door, good cheer, and Mariah Carey singing on every radio station. According to law enforcement, you can also expect an uptick in retail theft. For whatever reason, theft is on the rise during the holiday season, which means that theft and larceny charges will also be on the rise. Facing these charges is always better with an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.

Why Theft Rises During the Holidays

There is no one definitive answer to why holidays see a rise in theft. Theft occurs for many reasons that may be amplified by the time of season. Stress is likely the main culprit as it can connect with many holiday-related issues. Family get-togethers, losing a job, substance abuse, and financial complications can all be reasons someone may choose to commit larceny.

Financial stress is likely the biggest reason for most people during the holiday season. The pressures of affording gifts combined with the terrible economy can push people over the edge toward a criminal act.

What is Organized Retail Theft?

Organized retail theft is perpetrated by criminal rings intent on stealing large quantities of retail products for resale. This type of theft continues to rise and is poised to continue to spike during the holiday season. Thieves often steal items from retail stores and then post them in large quantities online as legitimate merchandise.


DuPage County criminal defense lawyerMost juveniles commit no more than petty crimes to some degree in their more rebellious years. However, it is not uncommon for a juvenile to also be charged with a crime. Getting a call from a police officer letting you know that your child has been arrested can be a nerve-racking experience. To fight for your child's future and help prevent a recurrence of criminal activity, you should work with a juvenile crimes defense attorney.


Considered by some to be the "gateway crime" for juveniles, their criminal activity will often begin with petty theft or larceny. A teen might steal something easily replaceable, like a pack of gum or trading cards from a convenience or department store. They are not so bad on the surface, but these unremarkable crimes can quickly turn into criminal theft in their later years, especially if these minor crimes go unpunished as they tend to do. First-time offenders may have a chance at rehabilitation for charges of petty crimes that could help them steer clear of a tarnished educational and occupational future.


Reckless and rebellious teens may intentionally destroy another person's property as their crime of choice. Vandalism can include rather severe charges ranging from misdemeanors to felonies, depending on the overall cost of the damages and the reason for it in the first place. Charges of gang-related graffiti scrolling across a business wall can bring more legal complications than a smashed mailbox. Sadly, parents are often held responsible for restitution of the damaged property up to a maximum of $1000.

Criminal Trespass

Trespassing on private property can seem like a rite of passage for young teens trying to walk on the wild side. Criminal trespass is typically no more than a misdemeanor charge in Illinois, where the class of misdemeanor depends on where and why the trespass occurred. Criminal trespass becomes a severe problem when your child does it on federal property. At this point, the charge can become a felony, especially if another crime, such as vandalism, occurred at the location.


DuPage County criminal defense lawyerDrugs are a serious issue in Illinois. Drug offenses are reported to be one of the most common types of crime on a national scale. The crimes come in many forms and carry charges from misdemeanors to felonies. But which drug crimes are the most common? No matter which drug charges you may be facing, it is always a good idea to have an experienced criminal defense attorney available to defend your rights.

Possession of Drugs and Drug Paraphernalia

It is unlawful in the state of Illinois to possess a controlled substance, as is the possession of drug paraphernalia. Possession is the single most common drug charge that prosecutors file each year. Drug possession charges can vary widely depending on the specific drug and how much the defendant possesses.

Illegal drugs can fall under five categories, referred to as Schedules:

  • Schedule I: High-risk abuse drugs like opiates and hallucinogens
  • Schedule II: Other high-risk drugs that may include some drugs approved for medical use like Vicodin, Ritalin, and Adderall
  • Schedule III: High-risk dependency drugs but not so high to see them classified as either I or II, such as Anabolic steroids or Ketamine
  • Schedule IV: Low risk for dependency drugs like Xanax or Ambien
  • Schedule V: Low-risk potential drugs typically used as medicines like Codeine cough syrups or Lyrica

The severity of Schedules I to V ranges from most severe (I) to drugs with more limited abuse potential (V). Possession of drugs from either Schedule I or Schedule II could see you facing serious felony charges.


DuPage County criminal defense lawyerCredit and debit cards are incredibly common in today’s society. The same can be said for fraudulent activities associated with these cards. The penalties that come with credit card fraud are entirely dependent on the crimes committed involving those cards. A skilled attorney with experience in credit card fraud defense cases could be your best option in fighting any charges you could be facing for credit card fraud.

What are the Specific Crimes Involved with Credit Card Fraud?

Illinois statute specifically prohibits and penalizes various crimes in credit card fraud cases. Those crimes include:

  • Lying to acquire a credit card
  • Knowingly having someone else’s credit card in your possession
  • Possessing a missing or lost credit card that does not belong to you
  • Selling or buying a credit card
  • Using a credit card that is not yours to pay off a debt
  • Using a fake, expired, or unissued credit card
  • Using a credit card to engage in fraudulent activity

Both of the last two in the list are considered committed when used to defraud intentionally, regardless of whether any property or anything of value is obtained.

What Penalties Could I Be Looking at For Credit Card Fraud Charges?

The severity of charges is predicated on the value of all property obtained within a six-month period where the credit card was used in fraudulent activity. However, all listed crimes, except for the bottom two, are considered Class 4 felonies in Illinois.


Wheaton, IL criminal defense lawyerDriving on a suspended license in Illinois is a serious offense. It is a criminal offense that can result in fines, jail time, and other penalties. The severity of the penalties will depend on the circumstances of the case, such as the reason for the suspension, your driving history, and whether you have any prior convictions for driving on a suspended license.

Anyone who is charged with driving on a suspended license in Illinois should contact a criminal defense lawyer. Even if you think you have a good case, it is important to have a criminal defense lawyer represent you. The prosecution will have experienced lawyers representing them, and you need someone with the same level of experience on your side.

What are the Penalties for Driving on a Suspended License?

The penalties for driving on a suspended license in Illinois vary depending on the circumstances of the case. A first-time offense is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. However, if you have prior convictions for driving on a suspended license, or if your license was suspended for certain reasons, such as DUI, you may be charged with a felony.

Your first four offenses for a non-aggravating reason fall under a Class A misdemeanor charge. The differences lie in the additional minimum mandatory sentences laid out depending on the offense:

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