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mchenry county criminal defense lawyerMany people in Illinois depend on their vehicles to get to work and other important places. However, when someone has their driver’s license suspended, it becomes illegal to drive a car. In Illinois, people can get their driver’s licenses suspended for many different reasons, such as driving drunk, failing to appear in court for a traffic ticket, and driving without insurance. If they still try to get behind the wheel of a car, they could face severe consequences.

Consequences of Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License

If a judge has suspended or revoked your driver’s license, you cannot legally drive a vehicle. If you do, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the circumstances of your case. If this is your first time driving with a suspended license, you face a class A misdemeanor. You may be ordered to pay up to $2,500 in fines. You also face a mandatory minimum jail sentence of ten days and a maximum sentence of one year. However, some first-time offenders are able to receive court supervision instead of jail time. 

If you are charged with driving without a license a second time, you face a Class 4 felony. A judge may sentence you to a minimum of 30 days in jail or 300 hours of community service. You may have to pay up to $25,000 in fines. Your license will also be suspended for twice as long as your original suspension period. Additionally, your auto insurance company may cancel your coverage or increase your premiums.

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crystal lake criminal defense lawyerEveryone makes a mistake at some point or another. Fortunately, the state of Illinois understands that. Courts are authorized to use alternative methods of sentencing after a person is in trouble with the law. The criminal justice system in the U.S. has been criticized many times for the number of incarcerated people across the country. One of the ways that states attempt to keep their prison population down is by providing alternative options for sentencing nonviolent offenders. Court supervision is a tool that is often used for low-level offenders that allows them to stay out of jail.

Understanding Court Supervision

One of the most lenient sentences you could receive after being convicted of a crime is court supervision. If you are sentenced to court supervision, judgment in your case will be suspended until you have completed your period of supervision, the length of which is determined by the judge. Technically, court supervision is not a conviction, as the criminal proceedings are essentially paused until your period of supervision has been completed.

Requirements for Court Supervision

Much like probation, court supervision also comes with certain requirements that must be met to comply with the program. The main purpose of these requirements is to help facilitate an environment in which the offender can be rehabilitated, rather than to punish him or her. A successful period of court supervision ends with the case being dismissed. No conviction is entered against the offender. If you are sentenced to court supervision, you may have to adhere to requirements such as:

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crystal lake criminal defense lawyerLike many other areas, gun laws differ from state to state. Each state is responsible for creating and implementing its own laws pertaining to the purchase, sale, possession, and use of firearms. Naturally, some states have laws that are more strict than others. In Illinois, any person who wishes to own and possess a firearm legally must have a valid firearm owner identification (FOID) card. Obtaining a FOID card is not difficult, but there are specific requirements that you must meet before the state will issue you a permit. Possessing a firearm without a valid FOID card can result in penalties that have the potential to become severe.

FOID Card Requirements

Even though the right to “bear arms” is written into the country’s Constitution, gun ownership is treated more like a privilege than a right. When you submit an application for a FOID card, there are specific requirements that you must meet before you can receive a card. To be eligible for a FOID card, you must not:

  • Have been convicted of a felony

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McHenry County criminal defense attorneyIllinois has a strong history of juvenile justice. The state was the first in the U.S. to create a separate court for juvenile offenders around the beginning of the 20th century, and it has since influenced the majority of other states to follow suit. Juvenile courts are critical to the rehabilitation of youth who find themselves in trouble with the law. In Illinois, however, there are certain circumstances in which a juvenile offender’s case can be heard in adult criminal court, rather than juvenile court.

Factors Used to Determine Whether a Transfer is Warranted

Changes to Illinois law in 2015 got rid of all mandatory transfers for juvenile offenders. The change in law also prevents anyone who is 16 or 17 years old from being transferred to criminal court unless the charges they are facing are forcible felonies, such as murder. Even then, the judge has the final say before the case is transferred.

Any minor who is over the age of 13 can face transfer to adult court if the prosecution can prove that the transfer would be in the best interest of public safety and/or the juvenile themself. In cases in which a judge has discretion over whether or not a juvenile’s case is transferred to criminal court, there are a variety of factors that must be considered. These factors include:

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McHenry County criminal defense attorneyA violent crime against another person is one of the most serious offenses you can be accused of committing. Crimes such as assault and battery may seem less severe compared to offenses like sexual assault or murder, but they can still result in rather substantial penalties. In Illinois, assault and battery charges often go hand in hand, and they can be misdemeanors or felonies depending on the circumstances. Understanding what type of crime you are accused of and the potential penalties can help you with a defense strategy for your case.

What is Assault?

Often, assault and battery are used interchangeably. However, these two terms do not mean the same thing in the eyes of the law. According to Illinois law, assault occurs when a person is placed in reasonable fear of being hurt, while battery occurs when a person is actually injured. This means that you can be charged with assault if you created a situation that caused another person to fear that they were going to be physically harmed, even if no physical harm occurred. In many cases, assault is charged as a Class C misdemeanor, with a conviction often resulting in only probation or court supervision, depending on the situation. Felony assault, however, comes with more serious consequences.

Understanding Felony Assault Charges

Assault is punished as a felony crime under certain circumstances that increase the seriousness of the act. An assault can be classified as a felony based on the location where the crime took place, the status of the victim, the use of a deadly weapon during the crime, or the use of a motor vehicle. For example, the assault with a dangerous weapon of a police officer or other public official is charged as a Class 4 felony, which carries a prison sentence of one to three years and up to $25,000 in fines. An assault that involves a person shooting a firearm from inside of a motor vehicle is a Class 3 felony, which carries a prison sentence of between two and five years and up to $25,000 in fines.

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