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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700

 Illinois criminal lawyerIllinois is a state that is very concerned with the appropriate regulation of firearms, having been the last state to legalize concealed carry and often making revisions to the relevant laws to increase safety. Because of this, the penalties for even a first firearms offense can be extremely severe. If you are charged with a firearms violation, it is imperative that you understand the nature of the allegations against you so that you can react accordingly.

FOID Cards and Concealed Carry Licenses

An Illinois gun license is known as a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) Card, and one must possess one in order to lawfully own a gun. To obtain one, a person must submit an application to the Illinois State Police and show that they meet the relevant criteria (or do not - for example, no one who has been convicted of certain crimes of violence or been found mentally incompetent within the preceding five years may hold a FOID card). It is important to keep in mind that a FOID card is not the same as a concealed carry license, though it is a prerequisite to obtaining one. In other words, the mere possession of a FOID card does not allow you to concealed carry in Illinois.

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Illinois criminal lawyerA large proportion of the general public has shoplifted in their lifetimes, either as very young children, as teens, or even as adults. However, while it may seem like shoplifting is a relatively harmless crime, Illinois law is structured in such a way that the taking of a relatively small amount of property can spiral into felony territory. If you or a loved one has been charged with retail theft, it is imperative that you understand the potential consequences before proceeding to trial.

Statutes Are Specific

Retail theft in Illinois is defined as taking possession of, carrying away, or causing to be transferred or carried away any merchandise from a retail establishment, with the intention of retaining it without paying full retail value for it. While this definition includes shoplifting, it also includes other practices like changing price tags and returning shoplifted items for store credit or cash. It also encompasses rental items and failure to return them.

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Posted on in Drug Crimes

IL defense lawyerThere is quite a lot of misinformation making the rounds regarding marijuana possession in Illinois. Medical marijuana is legal for certain specific conditions, and possession of small amounts has been decriminalized. However, possession of large amounts, as well as distribution or intent to distribute, are still very much criminal offenses, and if you are charged with one of these crimes, it can create significant problems for you.

Drug Possession Charges

Illinois’ Cannabis Control Act, though modified in 2016 to accommodate the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (granting medical marijuana options to qualifying patients with significantly severe medical conditions), still allows stiff sentences for those caught with high enough amounts of marijuana or any of its derivatives. The general public policy of the state of Illinois is still to hold cannabis as a largely dangerous drug, and to that end, possession of large amounts is policed because of the deleterious potential harm to society as a whole.

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 Illinois divorce lawyerDisorderly conduct is a common crime that has recently come more into focus given the current rise in protests happening around the country. Any conduct that has the potential to disturb the peace can, in theory, qualify as disorderly, and if you are arrested or charged with an offense of this type, understanding it fully can make a difference in how it plays out.

The Statute Is Vague

Illinois’ statute defines disorderly conduct as any behavior that is unreasonable and causes alarm or provokes a breach of the peace. This can encompass several different types of conduct and is often used as a catch-all of sorts for any behavior that is held to be somehow wrong or inappropriate without it being quite criminal enough to provoke a more specific charge. Numerous types of incidents would fall under disorderly conduct, such as domestic disputes without substantial injury, certain types of protest, public drunkenness, and the like.

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Posted on in Criminal Law Blog

Illinois family lawIllinois law is committed, as a general rule, to safeguarding the welfare and the best interests of the state’s children. Parents’ interests are subordinate to the rights of children to have safe and loving homes, which is why any allegation of child abuse, neglect or endangerment is taken extremely seriously by authorities. If you have been accused of child endangerment, it is imperative that you understand the nature of this allegation against you so that you can respond appropriately, regardless of your innocence or guilt.

Definitions and Examples

Child endangerment is defined under Illinois law as causing or allowing a child to be “placed in circumstances that endanger the child's life or health.” This may sound quite vague, but most judges are not interested in pushing the boundaries simply because in extreme circumstances, anything and everything might be dangerous to a child’s life or health. A fact-finder will be interested in immediately threatening or dangerous actions as a general rule - examples would include leaving a young child unattended for more than 10 minutes, indulging in violent behavior or the use of illegal substances in the child’s presence.

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