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concealed carry, limitations, Illinois criminal defense attorneyWhen they become apparent, rising crime levels are definitely cause for concern, and it can be helpful to have to defend yourself. For this reason, combined with the rights protected the Second Amendment, carrying a concealed firearm is legal in Illinois, but only with the necessary permit and in accordance with restrictions in the law.

In late 2013, Illinois became the last state to legalize the carrying of a concealed weapon, following a federal court ruling that found the existing ban on the practice to be unconstitutional. Concealed carry, however, requires an individual to obtain a permit from the Department of State Police, and gun owners must adhere to a long list of restrictions that determine where, or when, you can carry a concealed firearm.

Where Am I Not Allowed to Carry a Concealed Weapon?

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blood alcohol content, BAC, Illinois criminal defense lawyer, Illinois DUI attorney,Although all DUI charges are taken seriously in Illinois, being charged with a second or further offense can lead to critical penalties for you. One of the most important steps you can take after being charged with a DUI is to contact an experienced drunk driving defense attorney to manage your case. An experienced lawyer will review your case to ensure that your rights are protected and will work hard to advocate for you in court.

Multiple convictions can stack up and change how your charge is classified as well as what type of penalties you will face. Here’s what you need to know about the minimum punishments for multiple DUI offenses in Illinois:

  • A second conviction is categorized as a Class A misdemeanor with mandatory minimum prison time of five days (or 240 community service hours). Your vehicle registration will be suspended and your driving privileges can be revoked for five years
  • A third conviction is a Class 2 felony, leading to your driving privileges being revoked for a minimum period of 10 years with your vehicle registration suspended.
  • A fourth conviction is also classified as a Class 2 felony with driving privileges revoked for life with no relief.
  • A fifth conviction is a Class 1 felony with lifetime revoked driving privileges and vehicle registration suspension
  • A sixth conviction is a Class X felony with revoked driving privileges and suspended vehicle registration.

Depending on the conditions at your arrest, such as your blood alcohol level and whether you were transporting any minors, you could face even more serious ramifications. Getting charged with a DUI when you already have a conviction on your record is a critical matter and one that should lead you to hire a talented DUI attorney. If you have been charged with a second or beyond DUI offense, you need to contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney today.

overturned convictions, Illinois criminal defense attorney, false accusation, murder convictions, Legislation expanding Illinois’ convicts’ right to challenge convictions based on DNA testing has moved forward in the state this year. The statute that passed through the Illinois State Senate and House in the spring has just been signed by Governor Quinn.

The move by the state is part of a national trend in the last several years as the technology associated with DNA testing has improved, combined with a growing awareness in the legal community that the conviction of innocents is a problem that cannot be ignored by the American justice system. Additional technical assistance is available to both accused individuals and those who represent them via the National Institute of Justice.

Innocent People Often Plead Guilty to Avoid Harsher Sentences

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due process, pleading guilty, Illinois criminal defense attorney, constitutional rights, Only a small percentage of criminal cases in the United States ever go to trial. Most criminal cases end in a defendant's guilty plea. Even a plea bargain, though, requires the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney because prosecutors and the courts must still respect a defendant's constitutional right to due process.

As the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago recently explained, even a seemingly minor procedural issue can have serious due process implications. The Court determined that a defendant's guilty plea was invalid because the trial judge improperly delegated the handling of the plea to a lower official, known as a magistrate judge.

Unfortunately, it can be common for local residents' constitutional rights to be ignored by police officers and sometimes even in court. Ensuring all of your rights are respected every step of the way is one key reason why it is imperative to secure the aid of a seasoned criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer is often the difference between facing serious punishments and getting a chance to move on with your life.

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police checkpoints, traffic stop, Illinois criminal defense attorney, Chicago defense lawyer, illegal search, Although the Fourth Amendment prohibits “unreasonable searches” without a warrant, the courts have long held there is an exception for “reasonable” highway checkpoints where police may stop all cars in a designated area. In some cases, a motorist who intentionally avoids a roadblock may provide police with reasonable suspicion to stop and search his vehicle. But this is not always the case, as a recent Illinois appeals court decision explains.

People v. Timmsen

In December 2011, Illinois State Police operated a checkpoint at Highway 136 near a railroad crossing. The defendant was traveling down the highway when he made a legal U-turn before reaching the roadblock. State police stopped the defendant, checked his license and registration, then arrested him since his license was suspended.

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