The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola


47 DuPage Court, Elgin, IL 60120

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Elgin IL underage drinking lawyerAlthough this New Year’s Eve will likely include fewer social gatherings than in years past due to the pandemic, it is common for minors to engage in underage drinking at this time of year, either with or without their parents’ knowledge. While this may seem innocent enough, underage drinking often has serious legal and personal consequences that can affect a teenager or young person for the rest of their life.

Consequences of Underage Drinking in Illinois

In Illinois, underage drinking is a serious offense; in fact, while it is not a felony, it is a misdemeanor, carrying with it possible penalties including jail time and substantial fines. In addition, Illinois has a “Zero Tolerance” policy for underage drinking and driving. If a person under the age of 21 is caught on the road driving with any alcohol in their system, even if they are below the legal blood alcohol content limit for adults, they can face serious consequences, including getting their driving privileges revoked for two years at minimum. In some cases, underage drinking and an accompanying charge or conviction can also have far-reaching effects on a teenager’s future, including:

  • A criminal record—Depending on a young person’s age at the time of conviction, underage drinking can result in a juvenile record or a criminal record. This can harm a person’s reputation in the community, and it can lead to more serious consequences in the event of another conviction in the future.

  • Lost opportunities—An underage drinking conviction can result in valuable time lost and financial costs that may affect a young person’s education or ability to start his or her adult life in the right direction. A criminal conviction may also be viewed negatively during the college admissions process or a job search.

  • Health issues—Drinking at an early age can sometimes lead to addiction, depression, and anxiety, among other health issues.

  • Irresponsible behavior—Underage drinking may be accompanied by other irresponsible behavior, including risky sexual activities, poor performance in school, or actions that could lead to other juvenile or criminal charges.

  • Drug use—Early alcohol usage may sometimes be a sign of or a precursor to the use of illegal drugs, which can have serious health effects and criminal consequences.

Contact an Elgin IL Underage Drinking Defense Attorney

If you or your child is charged with underage drinking, you should hire a knowledgeable Kane County misdemeanor defense lawyer immediately. The skilled team at the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can help you protect your rights and avoid unnecessary legal consequences. Call us at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation.



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Aurora IL forgery defense attorneyIn Illinois, in its simplest terms, forgery can be understood as the knowing and willful falsification of signatures, documents, or objects. Once such items are falsified, the charges can be compounded by the propagation of these false items or other defrauding activities that lead to another individual or organization being misrepresented or losing something valuable, money or otherwise. Forgery and other deceptive practices are quite common, mainly because they can run the gamut, comprising a wide variety of defrauding actions.

Common Acts of Forgery and Illegal Deception

Among the many examples of forgery and other deceptive practices in Illinois are:

  1. Forged checks—If you sign someone else’s name on their check without their knowledge or approval, you are committing fraud.

  2. Faked mortgage documentation—Whether it be manipulating the data in your mortgage documents or faking your own personal information in a mortgage loan application, falsifying any of this serious documentation can result in severe legal penalties.

  3. Completing a credit card application for someone else without their knowledge—Pretending to be someone else and completing a credit card application on their behalf is illegal. You are misrepresenting them, possibly lowering their credit score and opening the door to identity theft.

  4. Sending checks from closed accounts—Not all bounced checks are created equal; some are from closed accounts. This is fraudulent activity when you know the account is closed but you still write the check.

  5. Misreporting your data on loan or other major financial applications—This includes claiming a greater income than you actually make, lying about employment or tax obligations, or lying about your ownership of property. Whatever the case may be, lying on major financial applications is deceptive and against the law.

  6. Art forgery—This is what many people think of when they think of forgery due to representation in popular culture. Attempting to pass off a falsified art piece as the work of a famous or popular artist is against the law.

  7. Prescription forgery—Drug addicts and patients with drug-seeking behavior might try to alter the prescriptions they are given by their doctors to get higher doses or more refills of painkillers and other legal drugs. They might even make fraudulent copies of blank prescription sheets and distribute them. Sometimes they might not even forge a signature, they merely manipulate what is there on the page and keep the same signature. This is still a forgery, though, and it is illegal.

  8. Faked forms of government identification—From a driver’s license to a passport, forms of identification have been falsified for years. This does not just include teenagers trying to drink before the age of 21, either. These faked documents can also affect immigration, international travel, and other important legal matters.

Contact a Kane County Forgery Defense Attorney

Defrauding anyone—a business or a person—through forgery and other deceptive practices is a crime. If you are facing charges of forgery or fraud, consider retaining representation from a knowledgeable and skilled Aurora IL deceptive practices defense lawyer. Call the team at the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation.



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Elgin IL criminal defense attorneyIf the police find evidence of illegal drugs on your person or property, you may be at high risk of a conviction on drug charges. However, if that evidence was obtained through an illegal search and seizure, your attorney can help you stand up for your rights and fight for that evidence to be excluded, which may help you avoid a sentence. There are several ways in which a search and seizure can be unlawful, and your lawyer will help you determine if any of them is a factor in your case.

How the Fourth Amendment Addresses Illegal Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that “the people have a right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” According to the Fourth Amendment, for a search and seizure to be legal, the officers must either have your permission to search your home, your vehicle, your person, or your other property, or they must have a judge-approved warrant to search those same places. 

In Illinois, however, there are a couple of exceptions to the warrant requirement:

  • Probable cause accompanied by exigent circumstances—The police may not need a warrant for a search if it is “accompanied by exigent circumstances,” meaning there is not enough time to get a warrant before either evidence gets destroyed or the safety of people is put in jeopardy.

  • Search incident to arrest—An arresting officer is permitted to search the immediate area surrounding the person being arrested without a warrant, especially if that area might contain evidence that could be destroyed or weapons that could be used to create a dangerous situation.

How Illegal Search and Seizure Can Help Your Defense

If the arresting officers obtain the evidence of your drug possession illegally, you can make the case to dismiss it from the proceedings. Circumstances leading to an illegal search and seizure include: 

  1. No Permission Given and No Warrant—In many cases, a search without your permission and without a warrant will be considered illegal, which would mean any evidence collected could be suppressed from the trial.

  2. No Warrant and No Exceptions Met—Without a warrant, and without meeting the aforementioned exceptions in Illinois, it can also be argued that the search and seizure was illegal.

  3. No Probable Cause—Obtaining a warrant requires the officer to demonstrate probable cause to suspect they will find evidence of a crime. If your attorney can argue that the police had no legitimate reason to suspect you or search you, then the search might have been illegal.

  4. Flawed Warrant—Not all warrants are created equal. Some warrants miss critical information and lack specific details, rendering them unusable and unlawful.

  5. Overstepping Warrant Grounds—Warrants generally must specify the type of evidence sought, and if an officer tries to expand the search beyond the scope of the warrant, some evidence could be considered illegally obtained..

Contact an Elgin, IL Drug Charge Defense Attorney

Illegal search and seizure is a violation of your constitutional rights, and a skilled Aurora, IL criminal defense lawyer can help you ensure that it is not used against you in a criminal trial. Reach out to the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation with an attorney who will protect your rights.



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IL defense lawyerDomestic abuse charges have many possible outcomes, one of which is that an order of protection will be placed against the accused. In 2020, the rules regarding how an order of protection is allowed to be issued are changing slightly to grant victims of domestic abuse more safety. However, if you are accused of domestic abuse, this new rule could change how your case plays out. During divorce proceedings or if you believe you have been wrongfully accused of domestic violence, speak with an experienced domestic violence attorney to protect your rights.

New Order of Protection Laws in Illinois

Before 2020, the accused party in a domestic abuse case would be notified of any order of protection filed against them. In some cases, this encouraged abusers to contact them and potentially make these situations worse. However, the new bill that took effect in 2020 will allow orders of protection to not be available publicly until they have been served. If an OOP was served to you, this could mean that it would take longer to contest the order if it is unjustly strict or not representative of the relationship you had with your ex-partner.

Illinois Orders of Protection

With this new law in place, it is worth revisiting the implications of an Order of Protection. First, OOPs are to protect family or household members, not people in any other type of relationship. The OOP bars the abuser from contacting the person that served the order. However, these can be specifically tailored and are not the same across the board. For instance, OOPs could prevent a couple from sharing a residence, or they could just block the abuser from being near the petitioner while intoxicated or on drugs. OOPs can also have strong consequences for child custody and visitation rights.

Contact an Elgin Domestic Violence Lawyer

OOPs vary on a case-by-case basis, and whether you are trying to understand what to do next if an order was served against you or you are attempting to contest the order, the highly experienced attorneys at the Law Office of Brian Mirandola can assist you. With a deep understanding of divorce and domestic abuse law, we will aggressively defend your rights as an individual and as a parent. To schedule a free consultation with an Elgin domestic violence attorney, call 847-488-0889.





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Criminal records can restrict access to employment, housing, bank loans, school admission, and more. It is possible to expunge or seal these records depending on the nature of the crime. None of this will happen automatically, and you will have to work proactively with a highly-capable criminal defense attorney to ensure that your criminal record does not prevent you from enjoying certain privileges in the future.

What Crimes Can Be Sealed

Having a crime expunged from your record means that you eradicate it and it will never have an impact on you in the future. Not all crimes are eligible for this treatment, but many more are allowed to be sealed. This means that the crime in question will not be used against you in a background check and will not be available in the public record, but law enforcement will have access to your record and it will be available via court order.

If you were charged with a misdemeanor or a felony but were never convicted, you can seal your record at any moment. The exception to this rule is for minor traffic offenses, but if you were released before being charged with such, you can still seal your record.

The rest of the cases that you can seal all require that it has been at least three years since serving your last sentence. Convictions for most misdemeanors and felonies can be sealed except for a DUI, reckless driving, domestic battery, violation of an order of protection, sexual offenses, animal offenses, or any felony convictions you were charged with after already having a felony conviction sealed.

While you can seal qualifying offenses three to five years after your last sentence, an exception is made in which you can seal immediately upon completing either a high school diploma, associate’s degree, career certificate, vocational certification, bachelor’s degree, or the GED test.

Contact a Elgin Criminal Defense Attorney

If you want to seal your criminal record to protect your future, it is essential to work with an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney. At the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, we have years of experience helping those formerly convicted of misdemeanors and felonies expunge and seal their records. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 847-488-0889.



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