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Illinois trying to change civil asset forfeiture lawWhen someone is charged with a criminal offense in Illinois, the law in some cases allows police to use civil asset forfeiture to seize property they believe was part of the crime. Civil rights advocacy groups malign this process because they say police departments:

  • Have low standards for proving that the property forfeiture is justified; and
  • Have incentive to use forfeiture because they can generate revenue from the assets they keep.

Many states have changed their civil asset forfeiture laws in recent years. Now, Illinois legislators have proposed a bill that would create stricter requirements for the process and greater oversight of seized assets.

Current Law

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Aggravating Factors Can Lead to Harsher DUI PunishmentsAn Illinois legislator is trying to make driving the wrong way on a one-way street an aggravating factor in cases involving driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The bill, proposed by State Rep. Michael Zalewski, D. - Riverside, has already been passed by the Illinois House of Representative and is being considered by the Illinois Senate. Advocates cite the number of fatalities and injuries that occur due to wrong-way crashes.

A court can use an aggravating factor as a reason to impose harsher punishment during sentencing. An aggravated DUI conviction is at minimum a class 4 felony, which includes a one- to three-year prison sentence. Wrong-way driving would be only the latest in Illinois' long list of aggravating factors.

Actions During Offense

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Understanding Illinois' Employee Drug Testing LawsUnlike most states, Illinois does not have an all-encompassing law regarding employee drug testing by private employers. Instead, there are a series of smaller drug testing laws that mostly cover state employees. Federal laws require drug tests for workers operating heavy machinery, such as commercial truck drivers, school bus drivers and carnival workers. Otherwise, it is mostly up to employers to determine whether a drug test is necessary upon hiring or during employment.

The lack of a dedicated Illinois law to drug testing makes it harder to know employees' rights, but there are regulations and protections for employees among the state's drug laws.

Here are three facts to know about Illinois' employee drug testing laws:

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Myths Concerning Expungement and Sealing of Criminal Records, McHenry County criminal defense lawyer, criminal defense, expungement, criminal record, sealed criminal recordThe effects of a felony conviction or juvenile adjudication may last for years after you have “paid your dues.” This is because an adult arrest or conviction, or a juvenile adjudication, can remain part of your public criminal record and may be able to be seen by certain individuals. This can impact your ability to obtain employment in certain fields, obtain professional licenses, and/or gain admission to institutions of higher learning.

Common Myths Surrounding Expungement and Sealing of Records

In some cases, it may be possible to expunge or seal certain information from the general public. This process of expunging or sealing records, however, is fraught with misunderstandings and misconceptions that members of the public possess. These include:

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Elements of the Offense – Why Details Matter, McHenry County Criminal Defense Lawyer, criminal case, criminal defense, burden of proof, criminal prosecutionOne point of confusion that often arises between individuals charged with committing a crime in Illinois and their defense attorneys is the amount of attention attorneys often pay to the details of a case. While many expect their criminal defense lawyer to notice minute details in police reports and forensic reports that the individuals themselves may miss, what is not clear to some is why Illinois criminal defense attorneys care so much about:

  • Whether the officer was properly trained to conduct a preliminary field test of the drugs allegedly found in your car;
  • What training the individual who drew your blood during your DUI arrest possessed; or
  • What the weather conditions were at the time that an alleged criminal act occurred.

Oftentimes, the reason why your Illinois criminal defense attorney will focus heavily on certain details – even ones that may seem insignificant – is because the presence or absence of these details can impact whether the prosecution has shown a particular element of the criminal offense with which you are charged.

What is an “Element”?

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Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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