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Hal Garfinkel is retained as the defendant's lawyer in the Chicago high profile murder case of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez. Read more...
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Illinois federal crimes attorney, Illinois criminal attorney, Illinois defense lawyer,There are many times in a person’s life where he or she will need to repay student loans, credit card debts, and/or a mortgage. Even though some of these events, such as buying a home, can be a very exciting time in a person’s life, there are, unfortunately, several incidents where money is lost, and you are charged with fraud.

What Are Some Popular Complaints of Fraud?

Fraud is defined as unlawful deception for the person committing the act to benefit financially. The person or company committing fraud may appear highly respected and reputable. In 2016, the biggest consumer complaint included consumer debt, such as mortgage lending, abusive debt collection practices, and student loan services.

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Post-holiday season, you’re probably headed back to one or two stores to return items. In the hubbub of shopping and busy crowds, you need to be on high alert for increased shoplifting watches. Make sure you carry your item in within a bag and carry the receipt with you in case anyone asks where you got the item. As soon as you enter the store, ask for assistance with returning items. Going with a friend tends to make the process easier. Unfortunately, sometimes retailers can take things a step too far. Being on high alert for theft means that shoppers need to beware retailer allegations of shoplifting. If you have been accused, know your rights and contact a Chicago criminal defense lawyer. Do not let a story bully you into confessing.

Since stores are watching out for shoplifting behavior, the chances of being accused are greater this time of year than any other. Stores are required to have seen you make an attempt to steal something (probable cause) before accusing you of this, but recently stores have been in the national spotlight for detaining customers after racially profiling them.  Stores cannot keep you in a small space without allowing you to leave that room, but some stores and their employees attempt to use threats or intimidation to get to confess to a crime. In the short term, the best thing you can do is cooperate but you also want to watch out for any efforts that are used to try to force you into confessing.

The store does have the right to call the police if they find that you have stolen property on your person. Following this incident, you need to write down all the details about what happened and to immediately contact an Illinois criminal defense attorney. Take your case seriously, as a shoplifting offense could have an impact on your personal record.

Earlier this month, a man was placed under arrest for Aggravated Driving Under the Influence (DUI) when the vehicle he was driving left the highway, crossing into the center median, and struck a stationary police car. According to a report by The Chicago-Sun Times, the man was driving a pick-up truck on I-55 North at around 9:30 p.m. when the truck left the road and collided with the officer’s squad car.

The officer, as well as a police dog who was also in the car, were both killed in the crash. The driver of the pick-up truck was taken to the hospital and was then arrested once he was released.

Driving Under the Influence in Illinois

Any driver who has a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater is driving in violation of Illinois law (keep in mind that minors and commercial drivers are subject to lower limits).

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Posted by on in Chicago News

In August of 2013, Governor Pat Quinn signed a new law that will increase the speed limit to 70 miles per hour for some highways in Illinois.  Illinois is the 35th state to increase their speed limits to 70 mph.  The law allows eight counties to opt-out depending on their local safety concerns.  The eight counties are Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Madison, McHenry, St. Clair and Will.

Quinn approved the new law saying that “this limited 5 miles per hour increase will bring Illinois’ rural interstate speed limits in line with our neighbors’ and the majority of states across America, while preventing an increase in excessive speeding.”  The law also amended the previous definition of “excessive” from 31 mph over the speed limit to 26 mph over.

Quinn took the summer to consider the bill and decided that it was good for commerce and the drivers of Illinois.  Political support is also clear as the law passed 85 to 30 in the House and 41 to 6 in the Senate.  But there are many detractors to the new law including state police, roadway safety organizations, and the Illinois Department of Transportation.

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At a conference at the American Bar Association in San Francisco, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder plans for the federal government to scale back stiff sentences for some drug crimes and divert low-level offenders to drug treatment and community service programs. “We cannot simply prosecute or incarcerate our way to becoming a safer nation,” he said.

A recent editorial in the Chicago Sun-Times said that the change in sentencing laws is a welcome reform for an overused and overburdened federal prison system. For decades, mandatory minimum sentencing, although politically popular, often times disallowed the court to look at the individual defendant and the individual case to decide if there were extenuating circumstances that led to the commission of the crime.

In a statement regarding the Attorney General’s announcement, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said, “The mandatory minimum sentence policy has led to severe overcrowding in our prison system and swelled taxpayer spending on incarceration and detention.”

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