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Westmont DUI defense lawyer

Preventing driving while under the influence (DUI) has been the subject of many organizations and government entities for years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has had many past and present campaigns aimed at reducing the number of drunk driving incidents that occur. According to the NHTSA, there were nearly 11,000 people who died from drunk driving accidents in the United States in 2017. Another way that lawmakers are attempting to reduce the number of drunk driving fatalities is by placing harsh penalties on drunk driving offenses. The state of Illinois is no exception and a DUI conviction in Illinois carries serious consequences. 

DUI Penalties

DUI penalties in the state of Illinois are based on the details of the case. For example, penalties can vary depending on the offender’s age, the offender’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC), whether there was a child in the vehicle at the time of the stop, whether the driver was driving the wrong way on a one-way road, and whether or not the driver has had previous DUI convictions. Any of these aggravating factors can increase the severity of the penalties.

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Westmont motorcycle injury attorney

Most people do not ride their motorcycles all year, especially in Illinois. Summertime means there are typically more motorcycles out on the roads than any other time of the year. In general, more traffic accidents tend to occur during the summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and when those accidents involve motorcyclists, they can become even more serious than usual. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 5,100 cyclists killed in motorcycle accidents in 2017. Because of the nature of motorcycles, riders are 27 times more likely to be killed in a traffic accident and 5 times more likely to be injured than other motorists.

Keeping Yourself Safe on the Road

Motorcyclists only account for a small number of motorists, but they disproportionately account for nearly 14 percent of all traffic fatalities. As a cyclist, there are certain precautions you should take when riding to keep yourself safe:

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Joliet False Claims Act attorney

During the Civil War, Congress became concerned that certain suppliers of goods were not being entirely truthful with the products that they were supplying. Because of this, the False Claims Act (FCA) was created in 1863 with the purpose of prohibiting any person, entity, or company from defrauding the federal government. Since its beginnings, the False Claims Act has been amended dozens of times. Currently, the FCA also gives employees of companies and other private parties the opportunity to file what is known as a qui tam action against a party who they think has defrauded the government.

FCA Liability

The FCA specifically states certain actions that are forbidden. These actions can include any time a person or party knowingly presents a fraudulent claim to the federal government, makes or uses a fraudulent statement in order to gain money or avoid paying money owed to the government, or conspires to defraud the government by getting a claim paid. An important element to establish under the FCA is whether or not the offender had knowledge that he or she was acting in a false way. The person or entity must have submitted a false claim or statement to the government with the knowledge that information in the claim or statement was indeed false.

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Addison U Visa AttorneyIn 2000, Congress passed the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, which created the U nonimmigrant status, also known as the U visa. This law was intended to allow law enforcement agencies to better serve the victims of crimes such as sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking. Immigrant victims of crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and who are willing to help law enforcement officials investigate and prosecute these crimes are eligible to receive a U visa and remain in the United States.

Eligibility Requirements

To receive a U visa, all of the following eligibility requirements must be true:

  • You are the victim of a qualifying crime.
  • You suffered substantial mental or physical abuse because of that crime.
  • You have information about the criminal activity.
  • You are helpful, were helpful, or were likely to be helpful to law enforcement officials during the investigation and prosecution of the crime.
  • The crime occurred in the United States.
  • You are eligible to be in the United States.

In addition, you must submit a signed certification from a law enforcement official to be used as evidence in support of the petition for a U visa. This certification will give U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) information about the criminal case, including your willingness in the investigation, prosecution, or sentencing of the crime. Any federal, state, or local law enforcement authority who plays a part in the criminal case may complete the certification. Other officials such as child protective services, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Department of Labor can also complete the certification.

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Oak Brook property crime defense attorneyIn the United States, property crimes are fairly common. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), property crime includes offenses such as burglary, larceny/theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The FBI states that around 90 percent of property crimes reported in the U.S. in 2017 were either theft or burglary crimes. Though the current trends suggest that property crime has decreased in the past five years, it still remains a common issue in Illinois and throughout the U.S.

Burglary

According to the Illinois Criminal Code of 2012, burglary occurs when a person knowingly enters a watercraft, motor vehicle, aircraft, building, home, or other dwelling without authorization and intends to commit a felony or theft. The classification of burglary crimes depends on a couple of different factors. If a person does not cause damage to the place they are entering, then the crime is a Class 3 felony, carrying a sentence of two to five years in prison. If damage is caused to the place they are entering, then the crime is a Class 2 felony and carries a sentence of three to seven years in prison.

Theft

General theft occurs when a person knowingly obtains unauthorized control over someone else’s property, including through the use of threats and deception. The classification of theft crimes depends mostly on the monetary value of the property that was taken. If the property was valued at less than $500, then the crime is a Class A misdemeanor, carrying a sentence of less than a year in prison. Charges can range all the way up to a Class X felony if the value of the stolen property was more than $1,000,000, which can mean a possible sentence of six to 30 years in prison. 

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Naperville injury lawyers

While everyone makes mistakes, when it comes to professionals like doctors, they are held to a higher standard because, in their work, lives are often on the line. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), medical malpractice is the third-leading cause of death in the United States, trailing behind heart disease and cancer. 

Being the victim of medical negligence typically involves much more than a physical injury. It can also result in significant emotional strain and financial loss as well. Medical malpractice cases are often confusing and tedious because there are so many laws surrounding them. Having a good understanding of these cases can be critical in prevailing in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

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Naperville wrongful termination lawyerMany states in the country have what is called “at will” employment. This means that an employer can fire an employee at any time for any reason. This can be problematic for many reasons, but thankfully, there are exceptions to this rule. One of those exceptions is the Illinois Whistleblower Act. This act protects and actually rewards employees who expose corruption, wrongdoing, and fraudulent behavior in their workplace. Many people fear employer retaliation, such as firing or demotion, if they are discovered to have reported issues at their companies, but the Whistleblower Act prohibits employers from doing so.

What Is the Whistleblower Act?

In 1991, the Illinois Whistleblower Act was created and enacted to allow employees to expose the fraudulent or illegal activity of employers, specifically government entities. The Act applies to all employers who have one or more employees and includes state and local government entities.

Prohibited Acts By Employers

According to the Illinois Whistleblower Act, no employer is allowed to:

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Bolingbrook spousal immigration attorneyEach year, thousands of immigrants become permanent citizens of the United States. As the country was founded by immigrants, the U.S. promotes family unity by allowing U.S. citizens to petition for their foreign-born spouses to come to the U.S. to live with them permanently. In some cases, you can also petition for your spouse’s children to also come live permanently in the United States. Immigration law is extremely complex, and it can sometimes be difficult to understand what exactly you must do to file a petition. A knowledgeable Bolingbrook immigration lawyer can help you understand the process and the steps that must be followed.

Beginning Steps

The first thing you must do when petitioning to have your spouse come to the United States is fill out Form I-130, which is the Petition For Alien Resident form. If your spouse has already entered the United States lawfully, they must fill out Form I-485, which is the Application to Register Permanent Residence, and this must be submitted along with Form I-130. When you submit this form, you must also submit the filing fee, which is currently $535.

Supporting Evidence

In addition to your applications, you must also submit all required supporting evidence for your petition. If you are a U.S. citizen, you must prove your status by submitting a copy of one of the following:

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Downers Grove criminal appeal lawyerNothing is perfect -- not even the criminal justice system. Though we often put our faith in the system, sometimes mistakes do happen, and innocent people are convicted while those who are really guilty walk free. Because there is no way to eliminate mistakes entirely, United States and Illinois law allows for certain actions to be taken if you or your lawyer believe that you were wrongly convicted or that you did not have a fair trial. Whether a mistake was made intentionally or unintentionally in a criminal case, you always have the right to file an appeal.

Filing an Appeal

The time directly after conviction and sentencing is critical. You only have 30 days from your sentencing to file a Notice of Appeal with both the Illinois Circuit Court and the appropriate appellate court. In order for your appeal to be valid, it must be based on an error that took place during your trial. The Court of Appeals will not re-try your case -- they will be looking at the mistakes that were made, which can include:

  • Errors concerning evidence, such as the exclusion of evidence that the jury should have heard or the inclusion of evidence that was unfair or prejudiced
  • Misconduct, whether intentional or unintentional, by prosecutors
  • Defense errors, such as insufficient or inadequate defense

Making a Decision

After the higher court looks at the case, the evidence toward errors, and the errors themselves, the court will make a ruling. The court can:

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Westmont car accident lawyerCar accidents can leave even the most secure people feeling shaken and scared. They affect you mentally and emotionally, but most of all, they can have a major impact on your physical well-being. Injuries from a car accident can range from a broken bone to a concussion or even a spinal cord injury. Any injury can cause a great deal of pain and hardship, including missed time from work that puts a financial strain on you and your family. 

One of the ways you can help support a personal injury claim following a car accident is by having strong evidence and documentation of the injuries and damages that you sustained after your accident. Here are three ways you can gather proof to support your case:

1. Take Pictures

Photographs can be one of the most compelling pieces of evidence to support your personal injury claim. If possible, you should try to get photos of:

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Naperville employment law attorney overtime payWhen considering overtime pay, there are two different types of employees: exempt and non-exempt. If you are an exempt employee, your employer is not required to pay you overtime. When making determinations about whether an employee is exempt or not, employers typically look at the type of pay the employee receives, the kind of work the employee does, and the day-to-day responsibilities the employee has. Sometimes, whether inadvertently or on purpose, employers will classify employees incorrectly, resulting in non-exempt employees not being paid overtime when it is necessary. If you are not being properly compensated by your employer, you should speak with an employment law attorney to learn about your options.

Exempt and Non-Exempt Employees

The United States Department of Labor governs how employees are classified, and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets guidelines on when employees are to be paid for overtime work. The Illinois Minimum Wage Law also sets statewide standards for how overtime is calculated and which types of employees are exempt and non-exempt from overtime.

Non-Exempt

Many workers fall into the non-exempt category. In fact, non-exempt is typically the rule, not the exception. Both the FLSA and the Illinois Minimum Wage Law state that when non-exempt employees work more than 40 hours in a work week, employers must pay the employee one and a half times the normal hourly rate for every hour worked over 40. There are exceptions to that rule, however, which is where the exempt employee status comes in.

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Woodridge fiance immigration lawyerImmigration has been a hot topic in recent years. Under the current presidential administration, immigration policies have been under scrutiny, and fiancé visas - officially known as K-1 visas - have taken a hit. According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), around 90 percent of fiancé visas were approved in 2016. In 2017, when President Donald Trump took office, the percentage of approved fiancé visas dropped to around 66 percent. Even though fiancé visas are getting harder to obtain, it is not impossible to get one - you just need the help of a skilled immigration attorney.

Eligibility Requirements for a K-1 Visa

In order to successfully obtain a visa for your fiancé, you must meet certain requirements. Though every visa petition is different, there are a few common requirements that you must meet. Eligibility requirements include:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen;
  • Both you and your spouse must be able to become legally married;
  • You must intend to marry your fiancé within 90 days of receiving the visa;
  • You must have physically met each other face-to-face at least once within the past two years; and
  • You must meet certain income requirements to prove that you can support your fiancé.

Other Elements of the K-1 Visa Process

In addition to meeting the requirements for a fiancé visa, you must also complete a series of other steps in order to successfully complete the process:

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4 Things You Should Know About Domestic Violence Charges in Illinois

Downers Grove domestic violence defense lawyerThe recognition of and response to domestic violence have improved over the last decade, but domestic violence still exists, and it is a serious and widespread issue. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, an estimated 10 million people experience domestic violence each year. However, criminal charges related to domestic violence are not always fully understood, which is why it is important to get your facts straight and be informed about local laws. Here are four things you might not have known about domestic violence charges in Illinois:

1. Domestic Violence Can Only Occur Between “Family or Household Members” 

Any act of abuse that occurs between unrelated people is not considered domestic violence. Examples of relationships that are included under the definition of “family or household members” include:

  • Spouses and former spouses.
  • Parents and step parents.
  • Children and step children.
  • People who currently live together or used to live together.
  • People who dated or were engaged.
  • People who have a child in common.
  • People with disabilities and their personal assistants.

2. “Abuse” Can Include Many Different Forms of Behavior 

Abuse can manifest in physical, emotional, or even sexual forms. Examples of abuse can include:

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Two Types of Injuries That Can Result From Truck Accidents

Westmont truck accident injury lawyerSemi-trucks are the biggest vehicles that travel on the roads. Compared to the average sedan, or even a pickup truck, semis are monstrous. Because of their enormous size, tractor-trailer trucks can cause major damage when they get into accidents, which are, unfortunately, not uncommon. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that nearly 500,000 fatal and non-fatal crashes that involved at least one large truck occurred in 2016. Getting into an accident with a large truck can mean serious or life-threatening injuries for drivers and passengers of any vehicles involved.

Neck and Back Injuries

It is not uncommon for those who are involved in any kind of car accident to have some sort of neck or back injury. When it comes to truck accidents, neck and back injuries are not rare, because the size of the truck results in a great impact when it collides with another vehicle. The most common neck or back injuries are:

Whiplash

This injury occurs when a person’s neck is suddenly and forcefully thrown back and forth or side to side. Whiplash most commonly occurs in rear-end accidents, but it can occur in any truck accident. Symptoms of whiplash can include:

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The Equal Pay Act: Know Your Rights

Aurora employment discrimination lawyerIn 1963, the United States adopted a law called the Equal Pay Act which prohibits sex-based wage discrimination. The law is an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act, and it requires employers to pay men and women equally for doing the same work. Not only is there a federal law prohibiting wage discrimination, but states also have their own laws dictating how wage discrimination is defined. Unfortunately, sex-based wage discrimination still occurs today, which is why it is important to understand the laws against it.

Equal Pay for Equal Work

Even though the Equal Pay Act ensures that both men and women are protected from sex-based wage discrimination, it was originally created to help fix the wage inequality between male and female employees in the workplace. The law has almost always been applied to women who were paid less than their male coworkers for doing similar jobs.

How the Federal Government Determines if Jobs Are Similar

The federal Equal Pay Act states that men and women must be paid the same wage for similar work. Their jobs do not need to be identical, but they do need to be similar. When determining whether or not the jobs are similar, certain factors are taken into consideration, including:

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Factors that Can Make a Person Ineligible for a Visa

Aurora immigration attorney visa denialIf you are a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR), there are ways that you can bring your spouse, fiancé, or other family members into the U.S. to live with you if they are a citizen of another country. Unfortunately, not all who apply for visas receive them. While there is not a limit on the number of visas issued to spouses of U.S. citizens, only a certain number of other types of visas are issued each year to allow people to enter, live, and work in the United States. In addition to restrictions on the number of visas issued, certain situations can disqualify your family member from obtaining a visa.

Health-Related Situations

The United States has specific requirements for people wishing to enter the country. Health-related issues usually revolve around sustaining the health of the public. Those applying for visas must have been vaccinated against:

  • Mumps;
  • Measles;
  • Rubella;
  • Polio;
  • Tetanus;
  • Diphtheria;
  • Pertussis;
  • Influenza type B; and 
  • Hepatitis B.

The U.S. also does not allow those who have a mental disorder and associated behavior that poses a threat to the property, safety, or welfare of the person or others, or those who are determined to be drug abusers or addicts.

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How U Visas Can Protect Immigrant Workers

Carol Stream immigration visa lawyerAn estimated 1.13 million people obtained lawful permanent resident (LPR) status in the United States in 2017, according to the Department of Homeland Security. While employer exploitation can happen to anyone, immigrants tend to be the target of exploitation or abuse, threatening the lawful immigration status of many workers.

Abusive Behaviors of Employers

Certain behaviors exhibited by employers can violate laws related to wages and hours, protections provided by equal employment laws, or workers’ rights to participate in protected collective activity, but sometimes employer abuse can be considered a criminal offense. These behaviors include things such as:

  • Trafficking
  • Rape
  • Unlawful criminal restraint
  • False imprisonment
  • Blackmail
  • Involuntary Servitude
  • Witness tampering
  • Obstruction of justice
  • Extortion
  • Domestic Violence
  • Kidnapping
  • Being held hostage
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder

In situations which these behaviors occur, workers may possibly be eligible to receive a U visa.

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The Process for Bringing a Foreign Fiancé to the United States

Oak Brook immigration attorney fiance visaWhen a United States citizen plans to marry someone who is a citizen of a foreign country, they may be able to obtain a nonimmigrant visa that will allow their fiancé to come to the U.S. to get married, after which they may apply for a Green Card. However, the process of bringing a fiancé to the United States is complex, and it involves multiple government agencies. To complete the process of fiancé immigration, the following steps must be followed:

  1. File a petition for fiancé - To begin the process, a U.S. citizen must file Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If USCIS approves this petition, they will recognize the relationship between the citizen and their fiancé and send the approved petition to the National Visa Center (NVC).
  2. Apply for a fiancé visa - After the Department of State (DOS) receives an approved Form I-129F, the fiancé can apply for a K-1 nonimmigrant visa at the U.S Embassy or consulate in the country where they currently live. 
  3. Attend a visa interview - The fiancé will be interviewed by a DOS consular officer, and they will be required to provide certain documentation, including proof of required medical examinations and vaccinations and an affidavit of financial support. If the fiancé qualifies, a visa will be issued.
  4. Enter the U.S. - After a visa is issued, it will be valid for up to six months. The fiancé will travel to the United States, and they will be inspected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), who will decide whether to admit them to the U.S. 
  5. Get married - After the foreign fiancé enters the United States, they must marry their U.S. citizen fiancé within 90 days. 
  6. Apply to adjust status - After getting married, the immigrant spouse may apply to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States by filing Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status). Both spouses may be required to provide documentation and attend an interview.
  7. Remove conditions on residence - Spouses who have been married for less than two years when applying to adjust their status will receive a conditional Green Card that will be valid for two years. Within 90 days of the expiration of this Green Card, they must apply for permanent residence by filing Form I-751 (Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence).

Contact a DuPage County Immigration Lawyer

Meeting the requirements for fiancé immigration can be a complicated process, and the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney is often required in order to ensure that the proper forms are filed and the correct steps are followed. At Khan Nayyar & Associates, LLC, we can provide you with the legal help you need as you work to bring your loved one to the U.S. to get married. Contact our Oak Brook immigration attorneys today by calling 630-LAWYERS.

Sources:

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Obtaining Family Preference Green Cards for Children of U.S. Citizens

Carol Stream green card attorney family preferenceWhen citizens of the United States have relatives who live overseas, they are likely to want to bring their loved ones to live with them. This is a primary concern for parents, since they will want their children to live in a safe community and take advantage of the excellent educational opportunities that are available in the United States. However, it is important to understand the legal procedures that must be followed when helping a family member immigrate to the U.S.

Obtaining an Immigrant Visa

While there are a limited number of visas available for most categories of people who wish to immigrate to the United States and become a lawful permanent resident, immigrant visas for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are unlimited. Immediate relatives include the children of citizens, as long as those children are under 21 years old and are not married.

To obtain an immigrant visa for an immediate family member, a citizen can file Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative). 

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Requirements for Obtaining an Immigrant Visa for a Spouse

DuPage County spouse visa attorneyWhen a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder) who resides in the United States is legally married to a citizen of a foreign country, their spouse may be eligible to receive an immigrant visa allowing them to come to the United States and become a lawful permanent resident. The process of applying for a spouse visa is complicated, and couples should be sure to understand the requirements that they must meet when doing so.

Required Documentation for a Spouse Visa

The first step spouses should follow to obtain an immigrant spouse visa is to file Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative). Along with this form, they should submit the following documents:

  • Copies of the couple’s marriage certificate and any documents showing that previous marriages have been terminated, such as divorce decrees, annulment documents, or death certificates.
  • Two passport-style photos for each spouse.
  • Proof of citizenship or lawful permanent residence. U.S. citizens can provide a copy of their valid passport, birth certificate, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, naturalization certificate, or certificate of citizenship. Lawful permanent residents can provide a copy of their Green Card or a foreign passport which shows temporary evidence of permanent residence.
  • Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support), which demonstrates that the immigrant spouse will have adequate financial support while living in the United States. 
  • Form DS-260 (Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application).
  • Forms showing that the immigrant spouse has completed a medical examination with an authorized doctor and received their required vaccinations.

After filing Form I-130, a spouse may be eligible for a nonimmigrant visa which will allow them to live and work in the United States while their immigrant visa application is pending. U.S. citizens can apply for a K-3 nonimmigrant visa for their spouse by filing Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)). 

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