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kane county criminal defense attorneyThere are a handful of reasons why a person could end up with a suspended or revoked license. Some of these reasons do not even relate to driving, yet you can still lose your license all the same. Not paying fines relating to parking tickets, tolls, or automatic traffic violations, can lead to license suspension. Failing to pay court-ordered child support or failing to appear for a traffic citation could also result in a license suspension. Driving while under the influence (DUI) is one of the most common reason a person has their license suspended or revoked. Though it can be irksome to lose your ability to drive, choosing to drive even while your license is suspended or revoked can result in criminal penalties.

Penalties for Driving With a Suspended License

Unlike many other traffic violations, driving with a suspended or revoked license is a criminal charge -- not just a traffic ticket. This means that the penalties are typically harsher and the effects of the charge are usually more severe than a traffic ticket. Penalties for driving with a suspended or revoked license depend on how many prior offenses you have and how your license was originally suspended.

A first-time offender for driving with a suspended license can expect to be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which comes with the possibility of up to one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. A person who commits a second or subsequent offense can face a Class 4 felony charge, which comes with the possibility of one to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. Penalties are increased if a person is caught driving with a suspended license while they are intoxicated. If that happens, they can be charged with a Class 4 felony and be required to undergo an evaluation to determine the extent of their alcohol and/or drug problem.

Contact Our Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorneys Today

It may seem superficial, but driving with a revoked or suspended license is a crime that is taken extremely seriously in Illinois. If you have been charged with driving while your license was suspended or revoked, you should get in touch with a Kane County criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. At the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, we can help you form a defense against any type of criminal charge you may be facing, including driving with a suspended license. To schedule a free consultation and begin discussing your options, call our office today at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K6-303

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/losepriv.html

 

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Elgin criminal defense attorneyEven though most people never intend to run afoul of the law, there are some situations where a person may be accused of harming someone else, and these may lead to criminal charges. In some cases, an argument or disagreement may get out of control, causing a person to feel threatened, or a physical fight may break out, resulting in injuries. These situations could lead to assault and/or battery charges. While these charges are often used together, they are two separate offenses, and it is important to understand the distinctions between them. Depending on the circumstances of a case, assault or battery may be charged as a misdemeanor, or aggravating factors may lead to felony charges.

Assault Charges

A person may be charged with assault if they knowingly take actions that would reasonably cause someone else to fear that they will suffer bodily harm or to believe that the person will make physical contact with them in an offensive or insulting manner. Since assault involves the threat or anticipation of action, a person may be charged with this offense if they verbally threaten to harm someone else, pull back their fist in preparation to punch someone, or brandish a weapon in a threatening manner.

At the most basic level, assault is charged as a Class C misdemeanor. However, a charge may be elevated to aggravated assault if a case involved certain aggravating factors. If assault is committed in a public place, if a person used a deadly weapon while committing assault, or if the alleged victim was a teacher, school employee, person with physical disabilities, person over the age of 60, park district employee, transit employee, sports official, or security guard, aggravated assault may be charged as a Class A misdemeanor. If a person allegedly discharged a firearm while committing assault or threatened to run someone over with a vehicle, or if the alleged victim was a police officer, fireman, emergency medical technician, corrections officer, or probation officer, aggravated assault is a Class 4 felony.

Battery Charges

A person may be charged with battery if they knowingly caused bodily harm to someone else without legal justification or if they made physical contact with someone in a manner that was insulting or provoking. While assault and battery are often charged together, a person may be charged with battery even if they did not commit assault. For example, battery may involve striking someone from behind without warning.

In many cases, battery is charged as a Class A misdemeanor. A charge may be elevated to aggravated battery based on many of the same aggravating factors as for assault, including the identity of the victim, the location where the incident occurred, and the use of a firearm or another deadly weapon. In addition, aggravated battery may be charged if the alleged victim suffered great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement. In many cases, aggravated battery is charged as a Class 3 felony. However, more serious felony charges may apply if aggravated assault was committed against a police officer or a child under the age of 13, or if a person injured someone by discharging a firearm. The maximum charge is a Class X felony, and a conviction may result in a jail sentence of up to 60 years or life in prison.

Contact Our Elgin Assault and Battery Defense Attorney

If you are facing charges of assault or battery, you will need a skilled attorney on your side to help you determine the best defense strategy. At The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, we will advise you of your options, provide you with representation in court, and work to help you avoid a conviction wherever possible or negotiate a lesser charge to ensure that you will not face serious consequences. Contact our Kane County criminal defense lawyer at 847-488-0889 to set up a free consultation and get the defense you need.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=21100000&SeqEnd=23000000

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=073000050HCh%2E+V%2E+Art%2E+4%2E5&ActID=1999&ChapterID=55&SeqStart=27300000&SeqEnd=29800000

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Elgin IL criminal defense attorneyIn recent years, advocates for criminal justice reform have fought against bail requirements for criminal defendants. When a person is charged with a crime, they will usually be required to pay an amount of bail set by a judge before they can be released from police custody. Advocates have argued that this places an unfair burden on lower-income defendants, and the practice has led to many people being required to remain in prison while awaiting trial if they are unable to raise the funds to secure a release. Recently, Illinois passed a law that will eliminate cash bail, along with other changes meant to protect the rights of defendants and address police accountability.

Pretrial Detention and Release in Illinois

The new law, which was passed on January 13, 2021, and is currently awaiting Governor J.B. Pritzker’s signature, will make all defendants eligible for pretrial release without the requirement to post monetary bail. However, there are a number of exceptions that may prevent a person from being released. These include situations in which a person is charged with a violent crime, including:

  • Felonies involving the use or threat of physical force, such as first-degree murder or sexual assault

  • Stalking cases in which the defendant is likely to present a threat to the alleged victim

  • Domestic violence cases in which the defendant allegedly presents a threat to one or more family members or people in their household

  • Weapons charges involving allegations that the defendant poses a threat to a specific person

In some other cases involving felony charges, a person may be denied pretrial release if it is believed that they are likely to flee or not show up for future court dates. However, the burden of proof will be on prosecutors to demonstrate that a defendant should be held in pretrial detention instead of being granted release. These changes to the pretrial release system in Illinois will go into effect on January 1, 2023.

Other Criminal Justice Reforms

In addition to making these major changes to the bail system, the law also includes several provisions meant to protect the rights of prisoners and detainees. People in the custody of police or the department of corrections will have the right to receive reasonable medical treatment without unnecessary delays. Those who are in police custody will also have the right to make up to three phone calls before being questioned by officers.

The law also took steps to address police accountability and reduce police brutality. It bans the use of chokeholds and certain types of military equipment by police, while also requiring officers to use the proper crowd control measures. It also requires officers to intervene and render aid if another officer uses excessive force, and it will require police departments throughout Illinois to use body cameras by 2025.

Contact Our Aurora Criminal Defense Lawyer

While these changes will help protect the rights of those who are charged with crimes in Illinois, defendants will need to be sure they are represented by a lawyer during a criminal case. The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola can provide the defense you need, and we will help you understand the steps you can take to avoid a conviction. To learn how we can help with your case, contact our Elgin criminal defense attorney at 847-488-0889 to set up a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/chicago-politics/hb-3653-heres-a-look-at-whats-included/2415933/

https://www.npr.org/2021/01/25/960465847/illinois-becomes-1st-state-to-drop-cash-bail-system

https://www.pantagraph.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/a-look-back-at-how-lawmakers-ended-cash-bail-in-illinois/article_b2f5d01d-f354-5b2e-86b5-4245ef416438.html

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IL defense lawyerWhen confronting felony charges, it is common for the accused to take a plea deal to diminish their sentence. Defendants might plead guilty to reduce charges for less severe offenses, dismiss additional charges if they face multiple, serve a sentence concurrently rather than consecutively, or a combination of all three. Although superficially, this appears like a good deal for someone facing a lengthy jail sentence, recent investigations suggest that the prevalence of plea deals in criminal cases maintains high prison populations across the country.

If you or a loved one are accused of a crime and could face felony charges, speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as you can. Finding one who will aggressively protect your rights is the key to either lowering your sentence or proving your innocence.

Plea Bargains and Mass Incarceration

Plea bargains have become an increasingly common tactic in courtrooms since 1980, which journalist and Yale Law lecturer Emily Bazelon attributes to the mandatory minimum sentence laws that legislators around the U.S. have passed since then. With mandatory minimum sentence laws, crimes are categorized by their relative severity and given a mandatory punishment (whether it be fines or jail time) that is non-negotiable and that the convicted must serve.

The federal government released statistics stating that over "90 percent of defendants plead guilty rather than go to trial". As a result, the question of a defendant's guilt or innocence is rarely addressed in an open trial; the fear of serving a mandatory minimum sentence encourages defendants to plead guilty preemptively. This fear allows prosecutors to do what is asked of them: they can resolve more cases efficiently and save judicial resources.

Should You Take a Plea Deal in Illinois?

There is no right or wrong answer to whether a plea deal will be beneficial in your case. Your attorney will carefully examine the accusations made against you and any existing evidence to give advice based upon their experience defending criminal cases. Accepting a plea bargain is a serious decision, and prosecutors may try and intimidate you into taking one. If this happens to you, remember that plea deals work to their benefit. It would be best if you made a full assessment of your case with your attorney before pleading guilty or going to court.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Minimum mandatory sentences for felony charges in Illinois are steep. Protect your rights and seek trustworthy counsel from an Elgin, IL criminal defense attorney before deciding whether to plead guilty. Call the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation and find out how we can help. With more than two decades of legal experience, our legal team will work diligently to ensure your rights are protected throughout this process.

 

Sources:

https://www.nprillinois.org/post/charged-explains-how-prosecutors-and-plea-bargains-drive-mass-incarceration#stream/0

https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid%3AUSC-prelim-title18-chapter221&saved=%7CZ3JhbnVsZWlkOlVTQy1wcmVsaW0tdGl0bGUxOC1zZWN0aW9uMzQzMQ%3D%3D%7C%7C%7C0%7Cfalse%7Cprelim&edition=prelim

https://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/types-cases/criminal-cases

 

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IL defense lawyerAnyone with misdemeanor or felony charges on their record used to have to fear that they would be automatically disqualified from a prospective job, but recent federal and state legislation helps provide an even playing field for all job applicants, regardless of what their criminal record looks like. Employers have a little leeway in determining whether any past convictions should bar you from the job you are applying for, but there is a much greater chance that anyone can make it much deeper into the hiring process before those discussions arise. If you ever need help determining if your criminal record can be sealed or expunged, or if you think a potential employer is violating any of the laws discussed below, reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The Illinois Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act

On January 1, 2015, the “Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act” took effect. Prior to this, employers were allowed to inquire about applicants’ criminal records during the application process. This typically led employers to make a swift negative judgment of anyone with a felony or misdemeanor on their record, even if the applicant was more than qualified for the job in question.

The Job Opportunities Act forbids this. Instead, employers are only allowed to ask about an applicant’s criminal record if they have already been deemed qualified for the position. This rule is designed to help push employers to give former convicts a second chance. There are a few fields, like medicine, that still allow for employers to conduct a criminal background check on applicants since many types of misdemeanors might immediately suggest that the applicant is not up for the task.

If an employer deems that an applicant’s past conviction is a cause for concern and they do not want to hire them because of it, they are encouraged to notify applicants in writing of the specific offense that disqualified them from the job. Although this can be up to the employer’s discretion, the Qualified Applicants Act’s purpose is to push employers to only turn an applicant away if their record poses a serious, tangible risk in that profession.

Contact a Kane County Defense Lawyer

The Illinois Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act was designed to help reintegrate those with prior felony or misdemeanor convictions reintegrate into society and receive a fair chance at attaining a job that they are capable of holding. To protect your rights and ensure that you are being given the opportunities that you deserve, work with the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola. Our Aurora criminal defense attorney will strive to defend your case in court and help expunge or seal whatever possible from your record. To schedule a free consultation today, call 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-illinois-laws-criminal-records-118-biz-20170117-story.html

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073000050K5-4.5-55

 

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