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Wheaton criminal defense lawyerIn Illinois, anything from shoving someone to a full-blown fight resulting in serious injuries may lead to criminal charges for battery. When an altercation between two or more people escalates, it can be difficult for police to know exactly what happened and who is to blame. Sometimes, a person is arrested even though they were only trying to defend themselves. If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges for a fight but were acting in self-defense, speak to an attorney right away.

What Counts as Self-Defense?

According to Illinois law, battery occurs when someone initiates physical contact of an offensive or provoking nature or causes bodily harm without justification. The key element of this description is "without justification." There are some situations in which physical contact or even force is necessary to protect a person from harm.

Self-defense is a valid legal defense to criminal charges of assault or battery if the defendant reasonably responded to an attack on their person. In order to prove self-defense, one must show that they had a reasonable belief that they were in imminent danger and had no other choice than to defend themselves. However, the response must be proportional to the threat and can only include deadly force if it is absolutely necessary.


DuPage County drug crimes defense lawyerIn October, at least 10 individuals were charged with drug trafficking after an undercover investigation in Chicago found evidence that the individuals were allegedly planning to distribute fentanyl-laced heroin. The probe, which took several years to complete, involved wiretapped conversations, undercover narcotics purchases, and other covert operations.

Sting operations like these often raise questions about the line between our rights as citizens and police authority. Police are legally allowed to lie to suspects, misrepresent themselves, and conduct undercover investigations involving drug purchases. However, police may not “induce” or persuade an individual to commit a crime. If you or a loved one are facing drug charges after an undercover operation, investigation, or drug bust, it is crucial that you understand your rights and options.

Understanding Entrapment

Have you ever heard the myth that a police officer has to tell you he is a police officer if you ask him or her directly? This myth is often portrayed in popular television shows and movies, including Breaking Bad. However, there is no truth to this myth. Police officers have the right to lie about who they are, exaggerate the evidence against a suspect, and use deceptive interrogation tactics to gather information about an alleged crime.


Wheaton DUI defense lawyerMost people are familiar with the handheld alcohol breath tests used by police officers to check for drunk driving. However, many people do not fully understand how, when, and why these devices may be used. Whether you or a loved one are facing charges for driving under the influence (DUI), or you simply want to be well-informed of your rights, understanding breathalyzers is crucial.

Portable Breath Tests Are Not the Same as Evidentiary Breath Tests

Illinois police officers carry portable breath testing devices in their patrol vehicles. These are called “preliminary tests” because they occur before an individual is charged with DUI. The purpose of a preliminary breath alcohol test is to provide justification for a drunk driving arrest. A police officer may ask a driver to breathe into the machine if the driver is slurring his or her words or smells like alcohol. The preliminary test will show a result. If the result is 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration or greater, the driver is arrested for drunk driving.

Once someone is arrested, they are taken to the police station and asked to breathe into a second breath testing device. This evidentiary test is larger and more accurate than the preliminary tests officers carry around with them. Only the results of the evidentiary breath test may be used as evidence during a DUI trial. The preliminary test results are not admissible.


Wheaton Sex Crime LawyerSexual offenses involving children are taken very seriously in Illinois and elsewhere. In some cases, a person could face criminal charges even if they have no face-to-face contact with their alleged victim. This may be the case if a person is charged with online solicitation of a minor. Communicating with a child in an online chat room, sending emails or text messages, requesting sexually explicit photos, or other similar actions could result in an arrest and a criminal charge, and a person could be looking at multiple years in prison, heavy fines, and other consequences if they are convicted. Understanding the exact definition of this charge and the potential penalties is important for anyone who could be accused of this offense.

Indecent Solicitation and Online Solicitation of a Minor

In Illinois, the criminal charge of "indecent solicitation of a child" applies to any situation where an adult over the age of 17 attempts to contact a child under the age of 17 and encourages them to engage in sexual conduct. A "solicitation" may include requests made of a child, authorization to engage in certain behavior, commands given to a child, or advice that a child take certain actions. A solicitation may be considered indecent if a person would be encouraging the child to engage in an act of sexual penetration or other sexual conduct, and this act would be considered sexual assault or criminal sexual abuse.

While indecent solicitation of a child may include any situation that meets the definitions described above, the offense of "solicitation to meet a child" specifically applies to situations where a person is accused of using an electronic device such as a computer or smartphone to communicate with a child and attempt to meet with them in person without the knowledge of the child's parent or guardian. The law states that this offense will apply in any situation where the alleged offender intends to meet with a child for a reason other than a lawful purpose. If a person is communicating with a child in secret and encouraging them to meet an adult without their parent's knowledge, they will likely be considered to have an intent to commit a sexual offense.


b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_324467150-min.jpgOriginally published: August 4, 2021 -- Updated: September 12, 2022

Update: In addition to the potential criminal charges that may apply for minors who possess or drink alcohol, it is also important to understand that people under the age of 21 who drink and drive may be arrested for DUI. Charges related to drunk driving can have a long-lasting effect on a person's criminal record and their driver's license. For a minor who is facing charges for DUI, it is important to understand the specific laws in Illinois and how they may apply to a particular case. Illinois has a "zero tolerance" law that applies to underage drinking and driving. A person under the age of 21 may face consequences if they are found to have any alcohol in their system while driving. While the legal blood alcohol content limit of .08 percent will still apply, minors who are arrested for DUI may face a license suspension if a chemical test shows that they have any alcohol in their system. A BAC reading above .00 percent will result in a driver's license suspension of three months for a first offense and one year for a second offense. If an underage driver refuses to take a chemical BAC test after being arrested, their license will be suspended for six months for a first offense and two years for a second offense.

Criminal DUI charges will apply if an underage driver is found to be driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or any other substance or combination of substances that affected their ability to operate a vehicle safely. A chemical BAC test reading of .08 percent or more may result in a DUI conviction. Since a first-time DUI is a Class A misdemeanor offense, a person may be sentenced to up to one year in prison, and they may be fined up to $2,500. Underage drivers will also be subject to a two-year driver's license revocation, and they will not be eligible to have their driving privileges reinstated while using an ignition interlock device. After serving one year of their revocation, a person may be able to apply for a restricted driving permit. Underage drivers may also be required to participate in remedial education (traffic school), as well as the Youthful Intoxicated Driver's Visitation Program, which involves counseling and visits to view car accidents caused by drunk driving.

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