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Oak Brook weapons offenses lawyer The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives Americans the right to keep and bear arms. However, federal and state laws regulate who can own and possess guns and other types of weapons. Under Illinois’ Concealed Carry Act, individuals must have a permit to carry a gun in public. In addition, all gun owners must have a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID). Carrying a gun without the required paperwork can result in fines and even jail time. There are additional actions that constitute the unlawful use of a weapon (UUW). In some cases, a person may not realize his or her actions are illegal. That is why it is important for all Illinois residents to understand the laws since violations can result in serious criminal charges

Illegal Weapons Use

There are many ways that an individual can commit actions that result in charges for the unlawful use of a weapon. In addition to not having a valid permit or FOID, a gun owner may face UUW charges if he or she has a loaded gun accessible in his or her car. Unloaded firearms with ammo readily available in a vehicle may also result in UUW charges. In addition, a person under the age of 21 cannot possess a firearm. 

This crime can also occur when someone sells, manufactures, purchases, or possesses a weapon such as a:

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Westmont DUI license reinstatement attorney

By far, one of the most common ways that Illinoisians lose their driving privileges is by being arrested or convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). Illinois law states that any person who fails, refuses to submit to, or does not complete a chemical test to determine their blood-alcohol content (BAC) is subject to a statutory summary suspension of their license. This suspension length is six months for a failed chemical test, meaning a driver’s BAC was 0.08 or higher. If a driver refuses to take a chemical test, they will have their driver’s license suspended for one year. Statutory summary suspensions are administrative actions, independent from any criminal actions taken against a person’s driver’s license due to being convicted of DUI. 

Losing your driving privileges can make life extremely difficult because you most likely depend on your ability to drive to get yourself to and from work. If your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked because of a DUI arrest or charge, do not fret. You can get your license back with a little bit of effort and the assistance of a skilled attorney. In any case, you will have to attend either a formal or informal hearing to have your license reinstated. The type of hearing required to get you back behind the wheel depends on the nature of your revocation or suspension.

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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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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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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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