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28 11, 2016

Restrictions on Child Sex Offenders

By |November 28th, 2016|Sex Crime Defense|0 Comments

One area of criminal law with some of the harshest consequences is sex crimes involving children.  There are numerous restrictions that are placed on individuals who have been found by a court to be a child sex offender.  Many of these restrictions are in place even if you are no longer required to register for the Sex Offender Registry. Under Illinois law, a child sex offender is someone who has been charged with and convicted of a sex offense or an attempted sex offense wherein the victim was under the age of 18 at the time of the offense.  When you gain the label of child sex offender, it can severely restrict certain aspects of your life.  Being a child sex offender can limit where you can be under Illinois law; for example, you cannot be on school grounds or on a school bus if kids are present, nor can you loiter within 500 feet of school grounds if kids are present (there are some exceptions to both of these if you have a child). A child sex offender is also limited in terms of where they can live—they cannot live within 500 feet of their victim or within 500 [...]

15 11, 2016

Federal Child Pornography Investigation

By |November 15th, 2016|Sex Crime Defense|0 Comments

Have you been investigated by Homeland Security or the Federal Bureau of Investigation for having inappropriate forms of pornography on your computer.  As a criminal defense lawyer and a member of the Federal Trial Bar I have represented many clients charged with Child Pornography in both Illinois State Courts and Illinois Federal Court.  These charges are incredibly serious and need to be dealt with in a skilled manner in order to minimize damage to your freedom. Typically, the federal government will seize computers from your home or office and allow you to remain free while their team of forensic investigators look for inappropriate materials on your computer.  This is the time to act and obtain a lawyer to help minimize damage - before the indictment comes down against you. Counseling can be obtained which can be beneficial to your ability to remain out of custody and on bond from a detention or bad hearing that will take place once the government decides to charge you with the crime.  It is better if this is done voluntarily as opposed to being done from a court mandate.  If you need assistance with finding counselor or psychiatrists, we have the ability to refer [...]

8 11, 2016

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

By |November 8th, 2016|Drug Charges|0 Comments

I’ve represented many clients who have faced criminal charges for possession of an illegal narcotic substance.  It is not unusual for a person who is charged with possession of an illegal drug to also face a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. Sometimes my clients are so focused on their drug charge, they forget that possession of drug paraphernalia is also a crime!  But possession of drug paraphernalia is a crime that can result in fines and jail time and should be taken seriously - especially since judges can be prevented from offering you court supervision on a paraphernalia case. Under Illinois’ Drug Paraphernalia Control Act, the term “drug paraphernalia” has a broad meaning.  Any kind of materials that are used in the growing, harvesting, manufacturing, testing, packaging, storing, concealing, or introducing an illegal drug into the human body has the potential to be considered “drug paraphernalia.” This includes materials typically used in the creation and use of marijuana, even though possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana is no longer a criminal offense but is instead a civil offense in Illinois. The State has to prove that you knowingly possessed drug paraphernalia with the intent of using it [...]

19 10, 2016

Driving with a Revoked or Suspended License

By |October 19th, 2016|Criminal Defense|0 Comments

I’ve dealt with thousands of criminal cases involving driving on Illinois roads, including some cases where the client’s license was suspended or revoked. Unfortunately, I’ve also dealt with many clients who had a suspended or revoked license when the still get caught driving on Illinois roads. The time a police officer pulled them over for something relatively small, such as a failure to turn, the officer would find out that the client’s license was suspended or revoked and would charge the client with Driving While License Suspended (DWLS) or Driving While License Revoked (DWLR). There are two elements to these crimes that the prosecution will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order for a jury or judge to find you guilty. First, the prosecution will have to prove that you had a suspended or revoked license at the time of the arrest. This is fairly easy to prove as the prosecution can request your driving abstract from the Secretary of State.   Second, the prosecution will have to prove that you operated a motor vehicle on a highway of the state during the time your license was suspended or revoked. This is also fairly easy to prove as the [...]

8 10, 2016

Punishment for Failure to Register as Sex Offender

By |October 8th, 2016|Sex Crime Defense|0 Comments

Over the years I’ve handled many cases where an individual is accused of committing an illegal sex-related act.  In some of these sex cases, if you are found or plead guilty to the crime, you may be required as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration Act.  If you are registered as a sex offender, your name is entered into a sex offender database that the general public, including potential employers and landlords, can see.  Depending on what the crime was, you may be placed on the sex offender registry for a significant amount of time.  If you are a juvenile, you will be on the sex offender registry for at least two years for a misdemeanor and at least five years for a felony.  If you were an adult at the time of the alleged crime, however, you will be required to be on the sex offender registry for ten years or for the rest of your life, depending on what specifically you were found guilty of or plead to. If you are required to register as a sex offender but you fail to do so, there are serious consequences under the law.  The first time you are [...]

30 09, 2016

TASC Probation

By |September 30th, 2016|Drug Charges|0 Comments

I’ve handled my fair share of drug cases over the years, and several of my previous clients have been placed on TASC probation for a drug offense.  TASC probation is meant to help the accused kick their drug addiction so they can become a more productive member of society, and whenever a client is eligible for TASC probation, I always make sure to discuss the option of TASC probation with the client. TASC (Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities) is a form of probation, meaning you plead guilty and are sentenced to TASC probation by the court.  Accepting TASC probation will ordinarily mean avoiding jail time.  If you complete all the terms of your TASC probation, the court will vacate your guilty plea and dismiss the case against you.  However, this will only occur if you have never been convicted of a felony and you have never previously used TASC probation to vacate a judgment and dismiss a case. To be eligible for TASC probation, you must be charged with a misdemeanor violation of the Use of Intoxicating Compounds Act or  a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance, and you must be eligible to receive probation for that offense.  [...]

12 09, 2016

Criminal Sexual Abuse Issues

By |September 12th, 2016|Sex Crime Defense|0 Comments

Through the many years I’ve been representing clients, I have seen numerous people charged with criminal sexual abuse.  It is one of the more frequently-charged sex crimes, so I will discuss what criminal sexual abuse is, the potential sentences, and some possible defenses that may be raised. Criminal sexual abuse is a crime in Illinois under the Criminal Code of 2012.  There is more than one way to commit criminal sexual abuse under 720 ILCS 5/11-1.50. First, it is criminal sexual abuse if you commit an act of sexual conduct by the use of force or threat of force.  Second, it is criminal sexual abuse if you commit an act of sexual conduct while knowing that the victim is unable to understand or give knowing consent.  These two forms of criminal sexual abuse are usually a Class 4 felony with a sentence ranging from one to three years in prison, but if you have previously committed an act of sexual conduct through the use of force, the sentence increases to three to six years in prison.  The court may also impose a fine up to $25,000 if you are found or plead guilty.  Third, it is also criminal sexual abuse [...]

31 08, 2016

New Illinois Law Alters the Legal Limits of THC in Your Blood While Driving

By |August 31st, 2016|Drunk Driving, DUI Defense|0 Comments

As I mentioned in my last post, Illinois recently passed a new law that changed the punishment for possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana.  That law, Public Act 99-697, also changed how Illinois will look at DUIs relating to marijuana use. Before Public Act 99-697, Illinois had a zero tolerance policy when it came to marijuana use and driving.  THC is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects.  If you had any amount of THC in your system when you were operating a vehicle, then you were in violation of Illinois’ DUI laws.  Because THC can stay in a person’s body for an extended amount of time, this meant that individuals could be arrested for DUI because they smoked or ingested marijuana many hours ago. Thanks to Public Act 99-697, there is a new standard for the amount of THC that may be in your blood system.  If you have 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood or 10 nanograms of THC per milliliter of other bodily substances (ex. urine sample), then it is automatically presumed that you are under the influence of cannabis.  But even if you are under these numbers, you may still [...]