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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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concealed carry, concealed carry mistakes, Wheaton weapon charges defense attorney, concealed carry license, weapons chargesThere are over 16 million active concealed carry licenses in the United States; almost 250,000 are Illinois licenses. With all of these licenses comes the responsibility to adhere to both local and state laws, without putting anyone in danger. Mistakes are common, especially in the period shortly following licensure. However, when armed with a deadly weapon, these mistakes must be eliminated or kept to a minimum. Concealed carry mistakes can be harmless, but they could also be fatal under the right circumstances. Avoid potentially severe implications by avoiding these common carry errors.

Exposing Your Weapon

Concealed carry is precisely that: concealed. Therefore, if you are wearing your firearm on your body, ensure it remains hidden at all times. Also, be cautious of printing, which is when a shirt presses against a weapon leaving a print, making everyone aware of the gun's presence. Although this mistake happens without malicious intent, it is best to avoid it. Most people are oblivious to their surroundings; however, if you bend over and your weapon flashes, someone may notice. When a person does notice, and it takes him or her by surprise, the following call to emergency services is likely panicked and will result in a swarm of police officers.

Checking or Touching Your Firearm

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metabolic tolerance, functional tolerance, Wheaton breathalyzer defense attorney, DUI charges, DUI breathalyzer testWhen an officer pulls over a driver for suspected drunk driving, he or she makes no distinction over whether the suspect is male or female. The decision to charge a suspect with DUI stems from a variety of factors, such as a breathalyzer, blood alcohol test, or behavior indicators. If the breathalyzer returns a blood alcohol concentration number of 0.08 percent or higher, charges are likely to follow.

However, research shows that women are more likely than men to incur a DUI charge when drinking the same amount of alcohol.

Explanation of Functional Tolerance

Alcohol affects everyone differently, which is the result of a variety of elements that have little to do with whether someone is a “lightweight” when it comes to handling his or her alcohol. Having a functional tolerance to alcohol may enable a person of the same sex, weight, and age to have the same amount of alcohol but perform at a higher functioning level, which may prevent an initial traffic stop; when comparing breathalyzers, an equal BAC results in identical charges.

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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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DuPage County defense attorney, warrantless entry,  unreasonable searches and seizures, expectation of privacy, Fourth AmendmentThe proverbial expression, “a man’s home is his castle” refers to the rights of individual privacy within one’s own home. Like the ruler of a domain, residents determine who may enter and who must stay outside. You have rights granted by the Fourth Amendment that protect your home against unreasonable searches and seizures. However, if exigent circumstances exist, officers may still legally enter.

What Does the Law Say?

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States protects citizens’ expectations of the right to privacy by preventing the government from entering homes, searching belongings, or taking items without following proper protocol. This protocol standard does not protect information available to the public, however, because there is no expectation of privacy. The police do not need to ignore what they see when it is available to everyone’s view and thus gives them reasonable suspicion and allows them to stop and frisk a suspect or search an area.

For example, if an officer pulls over a driver and sees a weapon and a bag of marijuana in plain view, then there is no expectation of privacy. However, an officer must have a warrant when exploring a domicile or other private sector, and a warrant is only issued by a judge after the presentation of probable cause—there are facts available that would be suspicious to any reasonable person.

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Abraham Lincoln A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock and trade. -Abraham Lincoln
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