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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7
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license plate reader, camera, Chicago criminal defense attorneyOver the past several years, license plate readers have become a popular surveillance tool for law enforcement across the country. It is a tool most people are not even aware exists.  The readers use small, high-speed cameras to photograph license plates, documenting the date, time, and location of each one. The information is then added to a computer which is linked to other law enforcement data bases, such as those which include arrest warrants or missing persons.

License plate readers can be mounted onto police vehicles or other objects, such as bridges or street signs, making them virtually unnoticeable by passing motorists. Although the readers have proven useful in apprehending offenders, the readers also capture information on people who have no criminal history at all. Many civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have come out against the use of readers. Lawmakers have also voiced their opposition to the use of readers, and one Illinois lawmaker has introduced a bill that would limit their use by law enforcement.

The current procedure used by law enforcement allows all the metadata collected from the scan to be kept indefinitely. The concern is that instead of the tool only being used as legitimate way to alert police to vehicles involved in specific criminal investigations, it allows for mass location tracking.


how to pick an attorneyIf you have ever searched for an Illinois criminal defense attorney online, whether for a simple traffic violation or a more serious charge, you know there are a lot of lawyers out there who claim they are able to do the job. If you have been charged with a criminal offense, you also may already be aware that selecting a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can have a significant effect on your case’s outcome. Many of the lawyers you find will have professional-looking websites and helpful office staff and will otherwise seem competent to handle your case; but how can you really know you are in good hands? Helpful Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney

  • Have you ever handled a case like mine before?  How much of your case load is dedicated to helping people in circumstances similar to mine?
  • What range of outcomes can you expect in a case like mine? (i.e. what is the best and worst case scenario?)
  • Can you explain what I can expect from each phase of the criminal justice process (such as during arraignment, pretrial and trial phases)? How long does it usually take to obtain a final verdict?
  • What is your office’s policy about keeping contact with clients?  When do you call clients and how frequently should I expect to meet with you?
  • How should I best reach out to your office if I need to contact you?
  • Do you have a good relationship with the criminal prosecutor’s office that is prosecuting my case? How often do you negotiate deals with this particular town’s prosecutor’s office?
  • How much do you charge and how do you calculate your fees?  When are payments for legal services due?
  • Which attorney from the firm will be representing me in court and what is his or her experience and background in relation to matters like mine?

Preparation for Your Criminal Defense Meeting Getting the most out of your experience with a new criminal defense attorney can be a two-way street. Many clients are pleased to know they can play a role in maximizing the efficiency of their meeting with a criminal defense attorney. One of the best ways to do this is to come prepared for the meeting ahead of time, with appropriate documents in hand, such as:

  • Any charging documents you received at the police station;
  • Any documents you received from the court that state your charges and the date of your next court appearance(s);
  • A police report (if you can obtain one);
  • Any paperwork the police gave you if your property or car was searched or if your personal items were retained by law enforcement officers;
  • Copies of any documents you signed while in custody; and
  • Photo identification, personal contact information, and emergency contact information.
  • If you possess additional information or documents that you believe can help in your defense, it may be helpful to bring these as well.

Contact Us Today At Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C., we understand that criminal defendants, especially first-time offenders, can feel overwhelmed and extremely anxious about the criminal process. We try our hardest to evaluate cases thoroughly and honestly and promptly keep our clients informed of all relevant case developments. If you would like to schedule a meeting with one of our criminal defense attorneys, call our DuPage criminal defense lawyers at 630-472-9700 to schedule a meeting.

illinois traffic ticket quotaA traffic ticket quota describes a minimum number of traffic tickets an officer must issue per designated period. One purpose of issuing quotas is to incentivize officers to do their jobs thoroughly. Additionally, a purpose of mandating ticket quotas also may be to encourage officers to pay closer attention to a designated area of law enforcement.

In practice, the issuance of traffic ticket quotas to law enforcement officials has faced some criticism. Critics contend that the quotas actually enhance unbalanced enforcement of a law or policy. When an officer feels pressured to meet a ticket quota, he or she may end up ticketing motorists for minor offenses that are normally overlooked.

Until recently, Illinois law allowed town, county, and state police officers to decide whether or not to mandate driving ticket quotas for their officer-employees. In June, Governor Patrick Quinn signed off on legislation making it unlawful for Illinois police departments at state, county, and municipal levels to assign driving ticket quotas to officers. The legislation also makes it unlawful for Illinois police departments to consider the number of traffic tickets an officer wrote as a factor in evaluating the officer’s performance. The law goes into effect immediately.

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