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Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, ban the box law, Illinois recently joined four other states in passing legislation that forbids employers to ask about criminal offenses until after the person applying for a job is either selected for an interview or is hired. Despite the hope that this “Ban the Box” legislation will give some of the estimated 70 million adults in the United States who have a crime on their record a chance at a career, there are other concerns people have about their prior offenses. Many people are aware that there are processes in place in which a person may have a criminal history expunged, or erased from public databases.

Understanding Expungement

Expungement is not the same as a dismissal; it will not change the ultimate disposition of your case. Expungement is, however, an opportunity for you to remove your criminal past from public record and to help you move forward. According to the law, to expunge means “to physically destroy records or return them to the [person requesting the expungement] and to obliterate the [person’s name] from any official index or public record, or both.” Juvenile records may also be expunged in some circumstances once the juvenile is no longer a minor.

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cyberbullying in Illinois, DuPage criminal defense lawyerTraditional bullying seems to have taken on a new meaning in the digital age. What used to consist of hitting, punching, teasing, or taunting, has in recent years led to digital abuse over online platforms that has led to the suicides of many troubled adolescents. The federal government has had significant difficulty in prosecuting and investigating claims of cyberbullying, that is, to harass, stalk, embarrass, manipulate, or taunt others via electronic means such as through computers, cellphones, or other devices. Such communication may be sexual in nature, may involve explicit photographs, or may eventually lead to blackmail.

This difficulty in prosecuting cyberbullying cases is due to a variety of factors. It can be difficult to determine a single cause that led to a suicide. With third-party parents, other youth, and online predators playing a role, it can be very difficult to pinpoint who is using a specific computer at a specific time, especially if multiple members of a household share a computer. Some think children are being too sensitive; others blame the parents for failing to supervise their children’s online activity. Regardless of where we wish to place the blame, everyone seems to agree that someone should be responsible when a child’s life ends after being endlessly harassed.

Illinois Makes an Effort to Combat Cyberbullying Regardless of the difficulty of enforcing such laws at the federal level, many states have taken on measures to prevent, what many consider, to be a cyberbullying epidemic. Illinois has now joined the ranks of the vast majority of states implementing anti-cyberbullying laws, though as many states, this law will only target one area of cyberbullying. Revenge Porn One particularly vicious form of cyberbullying involves disseminating personal or sexual photographs to unapproved third parties. This is an all-too-common occurrence among youth, and such proliferation of private images has been attributed to several adolescent suicides. Recipients of personal photographs may blackmail or threaten victims to give additional, more revealing pictures. The psychological pressures an adolescent may face with the fear of photo distribution can lead to tragic consequences. The New Laws The new Illinois law specifically targets this type of “revenge porn,” making distribution of sexual images without the photographed individual’s consent a Class 4 felony. Other related measures include allowing educators more freedoms in punishing children caught cyberbullying at school, whether on their personal or school-owned electronic devices. Many cyberbullying cases are simply charged as basic harassment claims, which are pre-existing laws at both the federal and state level. Illinois Cybercrime Criminal Defense Attorneys Cybercrimes of any nature are particularly serious, given that they are often charged federally. Even at the state level, a cybercrime of a sexual nature may lead to permanent consequences that may affect your ability your family, your work, your finances, and your social status. Prosecutors throughout the country have been creative with finding ways to punish cyberbullies; hiring an experienced DuPage County Internet sex crime lawyer is the best way to combat these tactics. At Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C., we understand the sensitive nature of these cases and what is on the line for your future. If you have stepped over boundaries on the Internet, you may be in trouble. Contact our DuPage, Cook, Kane, or Will County criminal defense law offices at 630-472-9700 to learn more about your legal rights today.

credit card fraudTheft. Fraud. Misappropriation. Possession. Receipt. All of these terms have legal significance under the Credit and Debit Card Fraud Act of the Illinois Criminal Code. While the broad term of credit card fraud encompasses an array of specific crimes, credit card fraud is generally defined as a person using, obtaining, possessing, selling, or buying a credit card bearing a false number or a number that does not belong to him or her. Misusing a credit card that has not been lawfully issued to you is a serious crime that may lead to federal penalties.

What Constitutes Credit Card Fraud?

Credit card fraud comes in many forms. Some of the most common, as laid out in the Illinois Credit and Debit Card Fraud Act, include:

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Posted on in Arrest

juvenile justice rightsRegardless of the severity of the crime at issue, youth offenders enjoy the same protections of the criminal justice system as their more seasoned counterparts. They must be read their Miranda rights, must be told they have the right to remain silent, and must be given the right to a fair and impartial trial. In fact, juvenile offenders also enjoy additional protections to ensure fairness in treatment. For example, youth offenders are required to be represented by counsel, and this cannot be waived like it can in most circumstances pertaining to adults. The juvenile offender’s parents are also required to be in court and juvenile offenders enjoy special protections regarding confidentiality of their identity, both during court proceedings and in maintaining court records. These protections are set in stone by law. Other areas of the law are not as clear and raise questions about a youth’s rights and what he or she is capable of consenting to at an age of minority.

Rights of Juveniles

The most fundamental rights during an arrest are the rights read to us before a police interrogation. These include the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present during questioning. Well-established law tells us that these rights must be read to a suspect before he or she can be questioned and possibly incriminate him or herself.

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Posted on in DUI

suspended licenseAll Illinois drivers who have had their licenses suspended or revoked due to a driving under the influence conviction are required to have a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) installed in their cars in order to have their driving privileges restored during the period of suspension.

What is a BAIID?

A Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device is an electronic device that locks out the vehicle’s ignition until that individual delivers a satisfactory breath sample. The BAIID will not allow the car to start until the individual shows that his breath alcohol content is less than 0.025 percent. The BAIID measures breath alcohol concentration in a manner similar to the breathalyzer devices used by police officers. In addition to the initial test, the BAIID may request an additional rolling breath test to be administered after the vehicle has already started moving.

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illinois drug court attorneyFor over a decade, the Illinois court systems have recognized the link between substance abuse problems and crime recidivism rates. In typical courts, a defendant found guilty of drug possession may face a steep fine or jail time ranging from three months to 15 years. Afterwards convicted individuals may face sparse employment prospects due to a blemished criminal record. Additionally, those struggling with substance abuse problems may be further influenced to commit property crimes such as credit card forgery or violent crimes such as armed robbery in order to sustain a drug habit.

For individuals who keep running into legal problems for offenses stemming from drug use, and who are motivated to overcome their addictions, Illinois has instituted drug courts as an alternative sentencing method. The purpose of these courts is to aid non-violent substance abuse offenders in their recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. In drug courts, state judges focus on sentencing selectees to a drug treatment plan in hopes of rehabilitating the selectee rather than sentencing the individual to jail or fines for the purpose of punishment. The overall policy goal of the program is to stop legal problems caused by drug addiction from the root.

Drug courts operate throughout the state of Illinois including in Cook and DuPage Counties. Drug courts differ by county in specific details of the programs but each share in the same fundamental characteristics.

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illinois criminal defense representationSome local Illinois residents facing criminal charges attempt to handle their own case in court without the aid of a criminal law attorney. No matter what the rationale for trying to represent yourself may be, it is critical to understand the many pitfalls of this approach. The criminal justice system is quite complex, and every case requires a mix of legal expertise, procedural acumen, and familiarity with techniques of advocacy. As a result, it can be almost impossible for a defendant to navigate the system successfully without the guidance of an attorney.

In most cases, self-representation seems like the best option for financial reasons. When making these decisions though, it is critical to think long-term. What decision will best position you to get beyond the immediate challenges without loss of your freedom or permanent damage to your reputation? In many cases, protecting your future interests requires the experience, skill, and advocacy that only a criminal defense attorney can provide.

Common Reasons for Self-Representation

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