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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 lawyerCocaine is considered one of the most addictive of all controlled substances; second only to heroin. The drug has medical usefulness, such as during anesthesia, but on the streets, it is highly illegal. Cocaine not only has severe and lasting physical effects on the body but can also result in lasting legal repercussions. Illinois state laws and lawmakers have stiff penalties in place to deter residents from becoming involved. Here is what to expect should you face cocaine possession accusations in Illinois.

Potential Penalties

Being found in possession of a controlled substance is a felony. Controlled substances in Illinois include heroin, cocaine, morphine, amphetamines, and anabolic steroids, to name a few. The potential penalties vary between drugs as well as the amount of the material thought to be in the suspect’s possession. Possession of cocaine is a Class 1 felony, which is punishable by a minimum fine of $200,000 as well as time in prison. The length of the prison sentence increase with the amount of cocaine found at the scene. Currently, the sentences are:

  • 15g-99g: Between 4-15 years in prison;
  • 100g-399g: Between 6-30 years of imprisonment;
  • 400g-899g: Between 8-40 years of imprisonment; and
  • 900g or Higher: Between 10-50 years of imprisonment.

The Burden of Proof

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IL defense lawyerOne of the perks of living in and around a big city is that everything is within walking or biking distance. Traditionally, with the better weather of summer months comes an increase in cyclists. We also find a correlating rise in the number of cycling while intoxicated cases. The incidents do not occur often enough for everyone to know the Illinois repercussions; however, the episodes are not entirely uncommon either.

The Legal Answers

It is common knowledge that driving yourself home in a motor vehicle after having too much to drink is dangerous for yourself, your passengers, and for everyone else on the road. Most people opt to have a designated driver, a cab, or a ride share take them home in those circumstances. However, when the weather is right, a bike ride does not immediately seem like a poor decision. Yet, there are unperceived dangers as well as potential legal complications to doing so. Under Illinois State law, a vehicle is anything that transports a person or property from one location to another, except if it is human powered. Meaning, your feet, and your bicycles are not vehicles. Therefore, taking a bicycle home is unlikely to result in a DUI charge, since you are not operating a car. A DUI on a bicycle is only possible under the following conditions:

  • You are intoxicated over the legal drinking limit;
  • The bike is motorized; and
  • The bike is capable of traveling faster than 20 miles per hour.

The Dangers of Biking While Intoxicated

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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 lawyerWhen is the last time you checked the validity of your driver’s license? For most people, your license is in good standing. We assume that if our license is suspended, we would know. However, many Americans drive around daily with a suspended license without any idea that they are breaking the law. The Illinois Secretary of State suspends driving privileges for a variety of reason, and in some cases, there is no reason for anyone to let the driver know. Driving with a suspended license becomes a legal predicament if an officer pulls you over.

How Licenses Become Suspended

Your driving privileges may be temporarily withdrawn or suspended for a period of time. In many situations, the suspension is due to an unpaid fine, traffic violation or other driving-related infraction. Yet, there are reasons for suspension that have nothing to do with driving at all. These are a few of the offenses that may result in an invalid license:

  • DUI;
  • Fleeing a police officer;
  • Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL);
  • Repeated vehicle collisions;
  • Failure to Appear;
  • Parking suspension;
  • Failure to provide proof of insurance;
  • Automatic traffic violations suspension;
  • Failure to pay fine;
  • Tollway violations or evasions; and
  • Failure to pay child support payments.

How to Verify License Validity

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