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Posted on in Burglary

IL defense lawyerRobbery and burglary are two theft crimes that are sometimes spoken of interchangeably, but in reality, they are very different, at least under Illinois law. One is generally charged more highly than the other, but there are always exceptions. Either way, it is important to understand that each charge has very specific criteria that must be met if you are to be convicted. By knowing this, it may be possible to focus your efforts (that is, your attorney’s) on attacking specific pillars of the relevant charge.

Burglary Basics

Burglary is defined as someone entering into or remaining “without authority” in a building or vehicle (many types of vehicles qualify under the statute, including automobiles and boats, among others) with the intent to commit a theft or felony therein. The statute was just modified in recent years to include more areas than simply buildings (previously, only buildings were implicated in the law explicitly). It is important to keep in mind that while it is not enumerated in the law itself, the courts recognize residential burglary as somewhat more serious due to the nature of the crime, which is why it is usually charged as a Class 1 felony, while regular burglary is a Class 2 felony, which can in some cases be pled down to probation.

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IL defense lawyerEven as the status of some types of drugs, such as cannabis, has changed with advances in medical science, possession, and use of most street drugs remains a serious crime. Illinois, in particular, has raised the sentences for drug possession and distribution in recent years, which means that if you find yourself charged with such an offense, it can mean serious penalties upon conviction.

The Elements Are Clear

There are three major elements to a charge of drug possession in Illinois. Possession can be charged if one is caught with either the listed drug or a controlled substance analog, which has a chemical composition similar to any listed controlled substance (such as certain designer drugs, for example). The elements are: 1) establishing the substance in question as controlled; 2) showing the defendant knowingly possessed that substance; and 3) the substance was in that person’s possession (either actual or constructive possession qualifies).

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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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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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