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Posted on in Search Warrant

b2ap3_thumbnail_warrant.jpgIllinois police will be authorized to perform a search and seizure for a number of different crimes, including suspicion of drug possession and/or sale. However, there are rules that officers must follow in order to legally perform their duties.

Officers are not permitted to simply enter a private home without a warrant for the search and seizure. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects a person in their own home from unreasonable searches.

What Is an Illegal Search and Seizure?

The Fourth Amendment says that a person is safe in the privacy of their home, documents, and effects from seizure and that no warrants will be issued unless there is probable cause for the search. This differs from the early days of the amendment when “general warrants” were issued and homes could be searched with no evidence at all.

Now, if the authorities have enough evidence to warrant a reasonable search, they are allowed to do so with the proper documentation.

A search becomes illegal if:

  • The properly documented warrant is not gathered and given to the homeowner prior to the search.
  • The police search personal areas of an apartment with only permission from a landlord or roommates. Legally, the police can search common areas of an apartment with only the landlord’s permission, but they cannot search bedrooms.
  • The police have no probable cause for entering the home or property.

What Can You Do to Defend After an Illegal Seizure?

The first thing to do after an illegal search and seizure is to hire a lawyer to build a case against the law enforcement officers who conducted the search. The victim of the search cannot sue the officers involved because of the “qualified immunity” doctrine which protects government officials while they perform their duties.

A victim can utilize the exclusionary rule which would prevent the government from using evidence obtained in illegal search and seizures. This strategy can protect the victim from criminal charges that would not have been discovered without an illegal search.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or someone you know is a victim of an illegal search and seizure and are now facing criminal charges, as a result, hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola to defend your Fourth Amendment rights. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County search and seizure lawyer, call 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/amendments/amendment-iv

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/exclusionary_rule

 

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IL defense lawyerOne of the biggest ways to celebrate the Fourth of July is to light off and/or watch a fireworks display. However, if you were caught setting off fireworks in Illinois, you are most likely currently facing misdemeanor charges.

Illinois is one of only six states in the country that have banned consumers from purchasing and lighting fireworks on their own. The crime is punishable by a Class A misdemeanor enforced by a fine of up to $2,500 and a prison term of one year.

What Is Acceptable in Illinois?

While larger fireworks are not legal for purchase in Illinois, those who want to celebrate on July 4th can legally buy novelty items. The American Pyrotechnics Association reported that Illinois residents can celebrate with sparklers, smoke machines, snappers, and party poppers among other items that are less likely to cause injury.

Items that are illegal in Illinois include, but are not limited to:

  • Handheld fireworks
  • Bottle rockets
  • Firecrackers
  • Skyrockets
  • Missiles
  • Pinwheels

Illinois policy reported that in 2017 there were over 12,000 firework-related injuries in the state. They reported that as “less than the number of injuries resulting from tipped furniture and children’s toys” but they are injuries that could still be avoided if the law was unbroken.

The report went on to name the most common item which leading to injury, sparklers - an item on the legal list of novelty tools. This begs the question: should sparklers also be made illegal since they can cause injury?

Alternatives to Lighting Fireworks in Illinois

The quickest and easiest solution if you really want to light fireworks legally is to travel to the next state over. Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, and Michigan all allow consumers to purchase and set off their own fireworks - of course while following their specific safety instructions.

The only other states besides Illinois to have a ban on fireworks excluding sparklers and novelty items are Ohio and Vermont. States that have a complete ban on any and all firework-related items are New Jersey, Delaware, and Massachusetts.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or someone you know was caught lighting fireworks in Illinois this July 4th, hire a lawyer from the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola to build a defense strategy and help you avoid misdemeanor charges. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County criminal defense lawyer, call 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

https://www.illinoispolicy.org/illinois-one-of-few-states-limiting-freedom-to-choose-fireworks-on-independence-day/

https://www.wifr.com/content/news/Fireworks-Whats-Legal-Whats-Not-in-Illinois-511960851.html

 

Last modified on

Posted on in Felonies

IL defense lawyerIn the state of Illinois, there is no specific “grand theft auto” law. So when someone steals a car or other motor vehicle, it is included in Illinois’ general theft law. This means, if someone is caught in possession of a stolen vehicle, they will face felony charges and all the punishments that come with them.

Defining Vehicular Theft

As stated above, the act of stealing a motor vehicle falls under the Illinois Theft Statute which includes several incriminating acts:

  • Taking unauthorized control of another person’s property.
  • Using deception to take control of another person’s property.
  • Threatening the owner to take control of their property.
  • Knowingly taking property that has already been stolen from another person.

In the cases of vehicular theft, the automobile is the property that cannot be taken control of. The exception is if the owner gives permission for the alleged thief to borrow the vehicle for an agreed upon period of time.

Punishments for Vehicular Theft

Stealing a car will result in a felony theft charge. A conviction of this nature will result in fines and possibly even jail time depending on the value of the product stolen.

  • A Class 3 felony is given when the value range of the automobile stolen is $500-$10,000 and the punishment is up to five years in prison.
  • A Class 2 felony is given when the value range of the automobile stolen is $10,000-$100,000 and deception is used to take the car. If the car is a government-owned vehicle with a value less than $10,000, the alleged thief will be given this charge. The punishment is up to seven years in prison.
  • A Class 1 felony is given when the value range of a government-owned automobile is $10,000-$100,000. For general cars, this charge is given when the value range of the automobile is $100,000-$500,000. The action is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
  • A Class 1 non-probationary felony is given when the value range of the automobile stolen is $500,000-$1,000,000.
  • A Class X Felony is given when the value of a regular car stolen exceeds $1,000,000 and when the value of a government-owned car exceeds $100,000. The punishment for this charge is up to 30 years in prison.

Defending Against Vehicular Theft Charges

Mistakes can be made and the best way to defend against vehicular theft charges is to prove that the alleged thief is, in fact, the legal owner of the vehicle. If the alleged thief is not the owner, then they must prove that they had permission from the owner to take the car and return it at a certain time.

There are also times when a car is stolen by one person but then is sold to another person who does not know that the vehicle was stolen. That person would have to prove that they had no knowledge of the theft in order to avoid a felony charge.

Contact an Elgin, IL Vehicle Theft Defense Lawyer

Cases of theft are often more complicated than they may appear. In order to be as safe as possible, you will need an attorney to help build your case and examine all evidence so that you are not wrongfully punished. The lawyers of the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola are ready to help you through your case. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County criminal defense attorney, call 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-1

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/062500050K4-103.2.htm

Last modified on

Posted on in DUI

felony, Elgin criminal defense attorneyWhen you are charged with the criminal offense of driving under the influence (DUI), it has the potential to change your life forever. Regardless of whether you are ultimately convicted, your license can be suspended, leading to difficulties keeping your commitments—including work. If you are convicted, you could even spend time in jail.

Basics of DUI Offenses

Just your first DUI offense can result in the loss of driving privileges for up to six months. In many cases—especially if it is your first offense—you are likely to qualify for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit which allows you drive legally while your license is technically suspended.  Participation in this program, however, means that you must install a Breath-Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) in your vehicle. Before your car will start, you must use the BAIID to prove that your blood-alcohol content (BAC) is below the acceptable limits set by the program.

Illinois is an implied consent state which means by driving on the streets and highways of the state, you agree to submit to BAC chemical testing when you are suspected of drunk driving. If you refuse when asked, your license will automatically be suspended for the maximum time of 12 months for a first offense. While there are many factors that may come into play, the average cost of a DUI in Illinois is approximately $16,000 when all is said and done.

Felony DUI Charges  

If that seems like a devastating situation, it is hardly comparable to that of a felony DUI conviction. A felony conviction, as you might expect is even worse, bringing with it harsher punishments and higher fines in most cases.

Every year in the state of Illinois, roughly 300 people die in alcohol-related crashes. As such, it is understandable that the state would have enacted strict laws for the most serious situations. You could face charges of aggravated DUI—always a felony—if you were driving under the influence and caused an accident which resulted in serious injury or death to another person. Felony DUI charges may also be applicable if you have previous DUI convictions on your record. In Illinois, a third DUI offense is automatically a felony charge.

You could also be charged with a Class 4 felony DUI even for a first offense if a minor under the age of 16 was in the car at the time of the incident and the child was injured as a result.  If this occurs and the driver has a previous DUI conviction, the charge may be elevated to a Class 2 felony.

Seek Legal Help

If you have been charged with a DUI of any class or severity, contact an experienced Kane County DUI defense attorney. We can help you explore your options and work with you in making the best choices for your future. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today.

Sources:

http://www.isp.state.il.us/traffic/drnkdriving.cfm

http://www.madd.org/laws/law-overview/DUI_Felony_Overview.pdf

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

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