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Category Archives: Criminal Law

Illinois defense attorneyPolice officers frequently begin questioning potential suspects immediately upon initial contact. Questioning does not necessarily indicate that anyone is detained or arrested. Does that mean that you do not have to cooperate with the cops? In short, you have the right to remain silent, at least initially. There are pieces of information that are pertinent, and you should share with the questioning officer; however, you do not necessarily need to share any other information beyond those initial questions.

What Is Initially Required

Maintaining a polite demeanor throughout the experience often goes a long way toward helping your case. Being polite does not mean helping them build a case against you, however. If you are in a public place, the only information you are required to give is your name; which is only valid if the officer suspects you have committed or are committing a crime and they announce themselves as police personnel. Cops may also ask you to give your address and a reason for your behavior. You do not have to answer either of those questions legally.

Your Fifth Amendment Rights

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IL defense lawyerFewer people physically write out checks today than ever before. The plastic forms of payments are more convenient for quick payments. However, with the ease of payment comes a certain level of forgetfulness when it comes to balancing the checkbook. Even the small sums add up over time, reducing the overall amount of available funds. Mistakes happen when obligations are overlooked, sometimes resulting in what is known as a “ bounced check.” If this happens in Illinois, you could face criminal charges.

How Does a Check Bounce?

You may be wondering how you bounced a check, especially if you no longer have a checkbook. If you use an online billing payment service through your bank or enter your check information in a payment screen, there is a possibility that your bank will physically mail a check to the biller for processing; a process that may take several days. While there may be money in the account when you send the payment, if the funds are no longer available when it processes, the check will return to the person who tried to cash it rather than their promised money. In other words, it “bounces” back to them. Transactions do not necessarily deduct from the account in the order of payments, either. Financial institutions follow a schedule, allowing higher priority payments to process even before pending transactions.

What Are the Consequences?

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IL defense lawyerThe Miranda Rights have been around for 50 years, yet many are unsure of the appropriate usage. These rights, also known as the Miranda Warnings, explain to a suspect being placed under arrest what their rights are in the situation. Most officers have presented the statement so many times, they rush through it haphazardly, without giving proper emphasis to allow the receiver to understand the message entirely. Although in television shows and other media all suspects are “Mirandized”, it is unnecessary for some situations. However, if the officer did not read you your rights when they should have, your case may be overturned in court.

What Are the Miranda Rights?

The Miranda Rights are named after Ernesto Miranda, the plaintiff in Miranda v. Arizona. Police accused Miranda of stealing $8.00 from an Arizona bank worker. After hours of grueling questioning, he finally confessed not only to the robbery but also to kidnapping and rape. Police never explained that he had a choice to concede; nor that he could hire an attorney. He was initially found guilty; a ruling which was later appealed when the Supreme Court ruled that the evidence was inadmissible because the officers never made him aware of his Constitutional rights. Since this case, any officer arresting someone for interrogation must recite the following:

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”

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IL defense lawyerIt happens every day: a person goes to an establishment that serves alcohol, consumes enough to be intoxicated, then drives home, but gets in an accident or stopped by the police for DUI. What leads to the result is drinking too much alcohol. The person who drank the beverages carries the majority of the burden of the outcome. However, bartenders, servers, and business owners may share some of the responsibility.

Illinois Dram Shop Laws

“Dram shop” is derived from a time in our past when liquor establishments used a “dram” as a standard unit of alcohol measurement. Now, 43 states, including Illinois, have dram shop laws which hold business owners, bartenders, and servers financially accountable if someone drinks too much at their establishment then injures or kills someone or causes property damage. All responsible parties risk being sued if the business serves someone that is “obviously and visibly” drunk. Not only that, but those responsible may also face criminal charges. It is a Class A Misdemeanor to sell, give, or deliver alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person. Penalties include fines between $500 and $2,500 and a year in jail. Also, liquor licenses can be fined, suspended, and even revoked.

Common Visible Signs of Intoxication

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DuPage County criminal defense lawyer, smart technology in court, Fourth Amendment rights, Fifth Amendment rights, criminal investigatorsAs technology advances, our lives seemingly become easier. We track our movements and sleep habits with products like Fitbit. We run searches, order new bedding, and schedule appointments by the sound of our voice using Siri and Alexa. Even hearts have technological assistance from pacemakers. Yet while these devices simplify our daily activities, they also simplify investigations for police officers. Your smart technology can and will be used against you in a criminal case.

Pacemakers

As one man discovered in 2016, the ever-present “Big Brother” has a location inside of pacemakers as well. According to the man, he was asleep when his Ohio home caught on fire. He quickly packed a suitcase with clothes, several other bags with various items, his computer, and a charger for his medical device. He then used his cane to break a window, toss out the belongings, and flee the burning home. The police became suspicious of the man when his story changed details. Additionally, both he and his house smelled of gasoline, and the fire had multiple starting points, which is highly unusual. Police retrieved data from the suspect’s pacemaker which, after medical analysis, did not match up with the man's version of what happened. The case is still awaiting trial.

Fitness Trackers

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