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Category Archives: Criminal Law

wheaton criminal defense lawyerAllegations of domestic violence can have serious consequences for the accused, especially if they result in a conviction for a criminal offense like assault or battery. However, in some cases the consequences can start to take effect much sooner. If you are accused of domestic violence, you could be immediately arrested and detained, and it is important that you understand your rights.

Are Domestic Violence Arrests Mandatory in Illinois? 

Many states have mandatory arrest laws for cases involving allegations of domestic violence, requiring a responding law enforcement officer to take the accused into custody if there is probable cause to believe that domestic violence has occurred. Illinois law is not as strict in this regard, but officers still have the discretion to make an arrest, with or without a warrant, if there is cause to believe that a person has committed an act of domestic violence.

Law enforcement officers are also required to take all reasonable actions to protect an apparent victim from further abuse. Depending on the circumstances, this could include the arrest of the alleged aggressor, as well as the seizure of any weapons that were likely used. Even if an officer does not make an arrest, they are required to file a police report of the allegation and advise the apparent victim of their right to press charges.

If you have no prior history of domestic violence and the incident that the officer is responding to appears to be relatively minor, you may be able to avoid arrest. However, if the incident occurs while you are subject to an order of protection, you will almost certainly be arrested for violating the order, and you could face additional misdemeanor or felony charges.

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DuPage County criminal defense attorney juvenile offense

If you are a minor who has been arrested and charged with a crime or you are the parent of a juvenile offender, you may be unsure of what to expect. You may have heard that children can sometimes be treated the same as adults in an Illinois criminal case but do not know the circumstances under which this can occur. Anyone under the age of 18 is a minor in Illinois; however, there are situations in which a minor may be tried and sentenced as if he or she was an adult. The alleged offense, the offender’s age and background, and other factors can influence where a juvenile case is heard.

Factors Considered by Illinois Judges in Juvenile Criminal Cases

Illinois judges have discretion when it comes to juvenile criminal cases. When determining whether to send a minor to juvenile court or adult court, the judge will consider:

  • The alleged offender’s age – The older the juvenile offender is, the more likely he or she is to be tried as an adult.

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DuPage County criminal defense lawyer

Those who are facing criminal charges often struggle to navigate the justice system. In many cases, defendants are forced to remain in the custody of law enforcement because they cannot afford to pay the amount of bail set by a judge. This has led to increased rates of incarceration for people with low incomes and also people of color. Recently, Illinois took a huge step to reform this system by passing a new law that will eliminate monetary bail, along with a variety of other changes to the criminal justice system.

HB 3653 Addresses Detainee Rights and Police Accountability

House Bill 3653 was passed by the Illinois General Assembly on January 13, 2021. While it has not yet been signed into law, Governor J.B. Pritzker has indicated his support for the changes that the new law will be implementing. Perhaps the most significant change is the elimination of cash bail, which will keep non-violent offenders from being held in prison simply because they cannot pay bail, while also preventing violent offenders from being released because they are able to raise the amount of bail set by a judge. This change will go into effect on January 1, 2023.

The bill also included a number of changes meant to protect the rights of prisoners and those who have been detained by police. Detainees will now be able to make three free phone calls within three hours of being taken to a police station, and these calls can be made before they are questioned by police officers. A person will have the right to retrieve phone numbers from a cell phone before it is confiscated by police. Detainees and prisoners will also be able to receive any necessary medical treatment without unreasonable delays.

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DuPage County criminal defense attorney domestic abuse

The COVID-19 crisis has been a global emergency, leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of hospitalizations in the United States alone. In addition to creating health concerns, the pandemic has affected many other aspects of our lives. The ongoing upheaval people are experiencing has led to concerns about increases in the rates of domestic violence. Those who have been accused of committing these types of crimes will want to work with a criminal defense attorney to understand the nature of the charges they may face and their best strategies for defense.

Domestic Violence During the Pandemic

While the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on everyone’s lives, its full effects will probably not be understood for at least several years. Advocates have raised concerns about the possibility that domestic violence may increase due to a variety of factors. Financial stress due to job losses, as well as difficulties dealing with issues such as school closures, have caused increased tension in some households. Disagreements between spouses, partners, or other family members may get out of control, leading to claims that one person has committed acts of assault or abuse. In addition to these concerns, requirements to stay at home and avoid social gatherings may have isolated some victims of abuse, leaving them with few options to leave a dangerous situation. 

While hard data showing whether domestic violence has increased during the pandemic has not yet been compiled and analyzed, some studies have indicated that instances of violence have been on the rise. Calls to the Illinois domestic violence hotline have increased, with the largest number of calls occurring during the stay-at-home order that took place between March and May of 2020, as well as in the month after the order was lifted. However, some studies have shown that the rates of domestic violence as a whole in the United States have fallen by 50 percent during the pandemic, although some advocates believe that this is because victims are not reporting incidents or are unsure about the resources that are currently available to them.

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DuPage County criminal defense attorney domestic abuse

Domestic disputes are an unfortunate reality of many people’s lives. Spouses, romantic partners, parents, children, or other family members often get into arguments, and these sometimes escalate to the point where one or more of the people involved do not feel safe. This has become even more of a concern during the COVID-19 pandemic, since many families have been required to remain at home to prevent the spread of infection, and this close, constant proximity may lead to increased tensions between family members. When this is added to stress from the loss of a job, the requirement to provide childcare for children who cannot physically attend school, and other factors, it is no surprise that the rates of domestic violence have increased during this public health crisis.

An accusation of domestic violence can affect a person’s life in a variety of ways. In addition to potential criminal charges, an order of protection may also be issued, and this can have far-reaching consequences on the life of the accused, as well as other family members. It is important to understand how Illinois law approaches domestic violence and the steps a person can take to defend against these types of allegations.

Criminal Charges: Domestic Battery and Aggravated Domestic Battery

Accusations of domestic violence do not always lead to criminal charges, but when they do, the specific crime that a person may be charged with is known as domestic battery. This crime is typically charged if a person is accused of knowingly causing bodily harm to a family member or a person in one’s household. However, it can also apply in cases involving “physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature,” which may include slapping, shoving, or simply poking a finger in someone’s chest. 

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