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Chicago IL criminal defense attorneyRoutine traffic stops for minor violations, like driving with a faulty tail light, failing to properly signal a turn, or exceeding the posted speed limit, are common occurrences, and in most cases they result in a ticket and fine, or even just a warning. However, sometimes what starts as a routine traffic stop can result in much more serious criminal charges, including for driving under the influence (DUI) or illegal possession of drugs, weapons, or stolen property. If you are stopped by a law enforcement officer, it is important that you understand your rights.

Common Misconceptions About Traffic Stops

Many people believe that they are required to answer an officer’s every question and consent to their every request during a traffic stop. A person’s natural instinct may be to cooperate, and they may even hope that the officer will let them off with just a warning because they were so polite. The reality, however, is that anything you say to the police officer could become evidence used against you later in court. In addition, your statements could give the officer probable cause to arrest you for a more serious offense, or to search your vehicle.

You Cannot Be Forced to Incriminate Yourself

You should never lie to a police officer, of course, and you are required to provide certain information, such as that which is on your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of auto insurance. This information generally includes things like your name, address, age, and date of birth. However, you are under no obligation to provide the officer with any additional information. If an officer asks you a question that could be incriminating, such as, “Have you been drinking tonight?” you have the right to politely respond with something to the effect of, “I prefer not to answer any questions without the advice of an attorney.”


Chicago federal criminal defense attorneyThe nation looked on in horror as a protest in the nation’s capital turned violent and destructive last week, leading to a number of injuries and widespread damage to one of America’s most iconic buildings. Thousands of protestors gathered in front of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, DC, on January 6 as lawmakers were assembled to certify the results of November’s presidential election. According to various news outlets, the protest turned destructive as hundreds of people managed to get past Capitol security and into the building itself.

In the days that followed, authorities announced the filing of federal charges against a number of the people who were allegedly involved. Among the first 13 arrested on federal charges was the CEO of a Chicago-area tech company who is now facing at least three federal charges for his alleged actions last week. Several dozen others were arrested and charged with unlawful entry and curfew violations in Washington, DC Superior Court.

Federal Charges Lead to Termination

According to various news outlets, an Inverness man was charged last week with three federal crimes, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol. The 52-year-old was the chief executive officer of a small data technology company based in Schaumburg.


Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyer, Illinios DNA testing attorneyMany people have seen the television advertisements for DNA testing kits that typically come from genealogy websites such as FamilyTreeDNA. However, what started as a simple curiosity may turn into something much more if the police try to obtain your DNA information from one of these databases. They have the right to do it and have even been successful in the past putting people away using this type of evidence. Critics of this practice, however, say it is a slippery slope and one that could ruin the lives of innocent people who are falsely charged with a crime.

Law Enforcement DNA Collection Techniques

It was not that long ago in 2018 when police were able to find a man connected to at least 45 rapes and 12 murders that occurred during the 1970s and 1980s. This former policeman was dubbed the Golden State Killer and his DNA was found through a public database.


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Illionois defense attorney, Illinois federal crimes lawyer, Illinois criminal defense lawyerOnce you post something on social media, you need to assume that the police or prosecutors can find it and use it against you during a criminal trial. Over the years, law enforcement has become very savvy in the ways they can find and access your social media posts as well as how they are used in court.

It is advisable that you tighten your privacy settings and review anyone who can see your profile. Even doing this, however, you should not expect that you have any control over the material once you post or upload it to a social media site. Such material can be shared or reposted and “go viral,” especially if the material appears to portray a crime taking place or other outrageous conduct.

Here are four ways a prosecutor may attempt to use material found on social media:


Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal justice system, Illinois criminal lawyer,If you have been charged with a federal crime - or even if you believe you are suspected of a crime -- your next step should be to meet with an Illinois criminal attorney. Your attorney is your advocate in court, so you will want your first meeting to be productive and set the right tone for the entire attorney-client relationship.

Preparing for your initial meeting with an attorney will not only set you up for success, but it could also help you minimize costs. Here are five things you can gather to prepare for your first criminal attorney meeting:

  1. Your personal information. You may be asked for your contact information, birth date, employment information, and next of kin information. Depending on the type of case, your attorney may also need your driver’s license number, license plate number and Social Security number.
  2. A narrative of what happened. Writing down your recollection of the events leading up to the situation is a critical step in the preparation of your case with your attorney. You do not have to state if you committed any crimes. Think about how you would explain what happened to someone who had no knowledge of the situation. You should be as detailed as possible. You may not need to show this document to your attorney, but getting your thoughts organized will help you.
  3. Police and court documentation plus other evidence. Any documents you have received from the police or court should be brought to your attorney. Such documents include: police reports, warrants, indictments, search warrants and court filings. These documents are important for the attorney as he will be able to see something about the strength of the case against you by reviewing them. Also, any other evidence you have or can obtain is often helpful. This could include photos of the crime scene area, screenshots of text messages of social media posts, security camera footage and receipts. In many instances, security camera footage is taped over quickly, so getting a copy of the footage while it exists can be crucial.
  4. Your goals for the representation. You should also have an idea about what you want to get out of your representation. Some clients want to maintain their innocence and go to trial. Others want our firm’s assistance in a plea deal.
  5. Questions for your attorney. Writing down a list of questions for our attorney can make your meeting more productive. You may be curious to know if our firm has represented people charged with similar crimes. You may want to know about our attorney’s experience with plea bargains. Other common questions relate to fees and billing.

Contact a Chicago, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

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