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How can an Illinois Order of Protection Affect Me?

 Posted on February 28,2023 in Uncategorized

Unfortunately, domestic violence is a fairly common occurrence in the U.S. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, there are more than 12 million people who experience some form of domestic violence each year. Domestic violence is a crime that is taken very seriously in Illinois and is punished accordingly. There are options available to victims of domestic violence to help combat their situations, such as getting an order of protection against the abuser. An order of protection is a legal document signed by a judge that requires the alleged abuser to stop further abuse and to stay away from the victim.

Contents of an Order of Protection

When someone requests an order of protection against you, the judge will decide what kind of stipulations are in the order. There are many things that can be required or prohibited in an order of protection. Orders of protection can prohibit you from:

Exploring Juvenile Diversion Programs in Illinois

 Posted on February 12,2023 in Uncategorized

Parenting is hard work. You spend years of your life raising your child from a bouncing baby boy into the strapping young man he is becoming. You would like to think that he has a good moral compass and a sense of what is right and what is wrong. The last thing you want to hear is that your child has gotten himself into trouble with the law. That phone call can be devastating, but now there is one question that keeps running through your mind: what will happen to my child? Depending on what your child has done, he may be eligible to participate in a juvenile diversion program, which is one of the more favorable outcomes of a juvenile offense.

What is a Diversion Program?

Juvenile diversion programs were designed as an alternative to juvenile detention. Juvenile offenders who are convicted of minor offenses can participate in diversion programs. These programs are typically community-based and smaller-scale, which make them more effective at addressing and preventing future delinquency.

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How can I Tell if I got Whiplash From My Illinois Car Accident?

 Posted on February 01,2023 in Uncategorized

If you drive a vehicle, there is a good chance that you will get into a minor accident at some point during your life. Many times these minor accidents, or fender benders, occur because someone was not paying full attention to the road. Whether or not the accident is your fault, you could suffer injuries ranging from bruises to something like whiplash. Though it may seem like a relatively minor injury compared to what some other car accident victims suffer, whiplash can be extremely painful and disruptive to your daily life. If you have been in a car accident, you should be aware of the signs of whiplash and seek medical attention if necessary.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash is an injury that occurs to the neck when the head is forcefully thrown back and forth. The movement the head takes is often one of a cracking whip, which is why it is aptly referred to as whiplash. This can cause damage to the vertebrae, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and discs that are in your neck. Whiplash injuries are some of the most common injuries to occur during a car accident – especially rear-end car accidents. However, whiplash can also occur during other situations, such as a sports accident or physical altercations.

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Tips Everyone can Follow to Help Prevent Pedestrian Accidents

 Posted on January 14,2023 in Uncategorized

At some point during the day, we are all pedestrians. If you are not in a motor vehicle, you are a pedestrian. During the warm-weather months, the number of people walking from place to place greatly increases. Unfortunately, so does the risk that they will be involved in a car accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were nearly 6,000 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents in 2017. Though this is less than the number of pedestrians killed in 2016, pedestrian fatalities still remain a large issue in our country.

Pedestrian accidents can result in serious injuries, if not death. A 150-pound human is no match for a 3,000-pound car, especially if the vehicle is traveling at a relatively high rate of speed. Fortunately, pedestrian accidents can be avoided with a little effort from both drivers and pedestrians.

Tips for Drivers

In many areas, pedestrians have the right of way, meaning you must yield to them while they are in the street. Even if the pedestrian does not technically have the right of way, you are in a vehicle while they are unprotected; you could cause serious damage to them. Here are a few tips to help avoid a pedestrian accident:

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What Types of Evidence Should I Gather After an Illinois Car Accident?

 Posted on January 13,2023 in Uncategorized

Getting into a car accident is a scary experience. Not only are you probably emotionally rattled, but you may also be suffering from serious injuries. These injuries may be causing you immense pain and prevent you from working, resulting in lost wages and putting a financial strain on your family. Pursuing a personal injury claim can often be worthwhile, but this can also be tricky. You bear the burden of proof in a personal injury claim, meaning you must provide evidence that the collision happened, that you were injured during the crash, and that the injury has caused you pain and suffering, wage loss, or other damages. In order to prove all of this, it is important to gather the correct evidence after a car accident, including:

Photographs

Photos can be an invaluable part of your case in pursuing compensation for your injuries. After the accident, if you are able to, you should try to take photos of each of your immediate visible injuries. Next, take pictures of the scene of the accident, getting landmarks, street signs, street lights, and the vehicles involved in the accident in the photos. Take as many pictures as you can and take them from different angles to capture as much of the scene as possible.

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Can a Prosecutor Call Me a "Criminal" in Front of the Jury?

 Posted on January 11,2023 in Uncategorized

If you are charged with a violent crime in Illinois, you have the right to a fair trial. On television legal dramas, you often see crusading prosecutors make powerful opening or closing arguments designed to sway a jury's emotions. In real courtrooms, however, prosecutors need to stick to the evidence. They are not ethically or constitutionally permitted to inflame the jury with prejudicial language.

Court Reverses Attempted Murder Convictions Following Prosecution Misconduct

For example, a prosecutor who repeatedly refers to a defendant as a "criminal" during opening arguments may violate that defendant's right to a fair trial. Indeed, an Illinois appeals court recently overturned the convictions of two co-defendants after a prosecutor did just that. The underlying criminal case involved three Chicago police officers who were shot and injured while attempting to execute a search warrant against one of the defendants.

The two defendants were tried on multiple felony charges, including attempted murder and aggravated battery of a police officer. The defendants were tried together but before separate juries. During opening arguments, the assistant state's attorney prosecuting the case referred to the defendants as "two cold-blooded criminals." The defense objected, and the judge instructed the jurors to "disregard" that remark. Despite this, the state's attorney continued to call the defendants "criminals" during the remainder her opening statement.

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Can the State's Attorney Conduct a Traffic Stop and Search Your Car for Drugs?

 Posted on December 25,2022 in Uncategorized

Anyone who has seen the television show Law & Order knows the familiar opening narration: "In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important, groups: the police, who investigate crime; and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders." But what happens when these functions become blurred, i.e. the district attorney’s office starts acting as the police? The Illinois Supreme Court recently addressed this question in an important case arising from the controversial policies of LaSalle County's former top prosecutor.

IL Supreme Court Says Ex-LaSalle Prosecutor Conducted Illegal Stops, Arrests

In 2011, then-LaSalle County State's Attorney Brian Towne formed a team of special investigators known as SAFE. Special investigators are individuals appointed by a State's Attorney to serve subpoenas and conduct limited investigations to "assist" prosecutors in performing their duties. They are not, however, sworn police officers.

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5 Steps to Take When You are Injured on the Job in Illinois

 Posted on December 10,2022 in Uncategorized

Though some occupations may have higher injury rates than others, you can get hurt at work no matter what industry you work in. Workers’ compensation cases can be difficult and tedious, but it is important to note that the first 24 hours or so after your workplace injury are crucial. Taking the correct actions after being injured at work can make for a stronger workers’ compensation case, while taking the wrong actions could mean no case at all. Here are five things you should do after a work injury in Illinois:

1. Inform Your Employer About Your Injury

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act states that you should notify your employer about your injury as soon as possible. You are permitted to notify your employer orally or in writing, but writing is typically better, because you then have hard evidence that you notified your employer of your injury. The notice should contain information about your injury and the time and place where it was sustained. A general rule of thumb is that you should notify your employer about your injuries no later than 45 days after the incident.

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Dealing With Instances of Juvenile Retail Theft in Illinois

 Posted on December 09,2022 in Uncategorized

When it comes to teens and crime, there are certain types of crimes that are rather popular with teens, such as underage drinking and drug use. One of the more common crimes committed by those under the age of 18 is retail theft. According to the latest statistics from the FBI, there were more than 93,000 juveniles arrested in 2017 for committing theft or larceny. A juvenile is defined as someone who is under the age of 18, but the state of Illinois does not prosecute all juveniles the same. If a juvenile is at least 17, they can be prosecuted as an adult if the crime is serious enough. Juvenile court is different from adult court, but consequences for retail theft can be serious either way.

Consequences for Retail Theft

In general, retail theft is a crime that occurs when a person intends to deprive a merchant of the benefit or retail value of their merchandise by:

What Makes an Illinois DUI Charge an Aggravated DUI?

 Posted on December 07,2022 in Uncategorized

In Illinois, any DUI charge that is classified as a felony charge is automatically considered to be an aggravated DUI charge. As the name suggests, aggravated DUI is more serious than a misdemeanor DUI and carries more serious consequences. Aggravated DUI charges can range anywhere from a Class 4 felony to a Class X felony, depending on the circumstances.

Class 4 Felonies

A Class 4 felony is the least serious classification of felony charges, though a conviction can still carry a sentence of one to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. Examples of Class 4 felony aggravated DUI charges include:

  • A first DUI offense while transporting a minor younger than 16 in the vehicle that resulted in bodily harm to the child;
  • A second DUI offense committed while transporting a child younger than 16;
  • DUI committed while driving a school bus with at least one minor on board;
  • DUI committed while driving a vehicle-for-hire with a passenger inside;

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