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

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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Illinois divorce lawyerDomestic violence is a pervasive, unending problem in the United States, and in Illinois, victims of all genders have been feeling the proverbial pinch. Due to Illinois budget woes during the past few years, funding for shelters and crisis centers has dipped, leading to fewer victims being given shelter or assisted in other ways. Some have sought to get around this by filing Orders of Protection (OPs) against their alleged abusers themselves, but without legal help, that order may be flawed, or it may simply be ignored. It is imperative for victims to know that they are not powerless, and that there is recourse.

Misconceptions About OPs

Pop culture and anecdotal evidence tries to paint Orders of Protection as largely useless, and it is generally true that an OP will not stop a truly determined abuser. However, it will deter many, and for those it does not, the penalties for violation can add up and generate or contribute to a significant prison sentence in the end. Most violations of OPs are Class A misdemeanors, but violating an order of protection against a child, or against removal or concealment of a child, is a Class 4 felony.

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Illinois defense attorneySometimes, young people make mistakes. When that happens, Illinois law allows them to be tried in juvenile court as long as they are under the age of 18. If your child has been arrested or charged with a crime, the matter will be handled in a very different way than it would be in an adult courtroom. Nonetheless, ensuring you have a good attorney to help your family through the process can make things easier on all involved.

Many Differences

Unlike proceedings in regular court, juvenile proceedings have differing nomenclature and require different people and things. For example, representation by an attorney is required in all cases in Illinois juvenile court, and in most cases, a putative offender’s parents are also required to be present. Also, under Illinois law, minors who commit crimes are not seen as criminals, per se; rather, they are seen as “delinquent minors,” and the focus in most juvenile cases is intended to be on rehabilitation, rather than retribution. This does not always play out, but the general slant of the law pointed is in this manner.

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illinois domestic violence attorneyOn a lot of occasions, people who are charged with a crime might only be familiar with the offense because of television and pop culture. This is especially true for many domestic violence defendants, who are often unaware that what they have allegedly done even falls under the specter of domestic violence. If you have been charged, being able to separate fact from fiction about Illinois’ domestic violence law can make all the difference.

Domestic Violence Law

Contrary to what one sees on television, Illinois’ domestic violence law is far-reaching, covering much more than just spouses. The statute defines domestic violence as a crime against a household member and specifically defines household members as including spouses, but also many others. Household members include spouses, former spouses, parents, children, stepchildren, any other blood relative, and many other categories of a person both related and not related by blood to the alleged abuser.

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medical fraud, fraud, Illinois Criminal Defense AttorneySeveral federal agencies, working together, announced a major nationwide health care fraud sweep which resulted in the arrests of almost 250 people. Among those arrested were physicians, nurses, and pharmacists, who were all accused of defrauding both Medicare and Medicaid systems. According to investigators, the effort uncovered more than $700 million in allegedly fraudulent billing.

Many of those charged allegedly billed the government for services that were never received and medical equipment which was never provided to patients. Prescription drug fraud was also targeted by investigators, with more than 40 of the defendants who were arrested accused of defrauding Medicare’s drug benefit program. Investigators say this program has become one of the fastest growing targets of fraudulent activity, with many of the prescription painkillers dispensed ending up being sold illegally on the streets to drug addicts.

Federal and state agencies were involved in the massive arrests, including the FBI, the U.S. Health and Human Services inspector general's office, U.S. attorneys& offices across the country, and dozens of state Medicaid fraud units. The arrests spanned the nation and involved many states. Examples of the fraud allegedly committed include:

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