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Retail theft in Illinois

Retail theft, also commonly known as shoplifting, is a crime that can result in substantial criminal penalties as well as a potential civil lawsuit. Persons who face shoplifting charges in Illinois should take their case very seriously.

Generally, penalties can vary depending on the specific type of offense, the value of the merchandise in question and the offender's existing criminal record. In a civil suit, a damages award can cover the value of the merchandise and the expenses of the plaintiff in pursuing the lawsuit. A merchant may be able to prevail in a civil suit even if the criminal case does not result in a conviction due to the difference in standards of proof in criminal and civil cases.

Illinois is taking speeding more seriously

Perhaps one of the most received traffic tickets among all drivers is the speeding ticket. Whether due to distraction, time constraints or carelessness, speeding is a common violation on all types of roads for all types of people. It is more socially acceptable to engage in than other illegal behaviors, as well.

However, this perspective does not take away the fact that speeding is very dangerous, and not only in bad weather or construction zones. In fact, about a third of traffic-related deaths come from speeding, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Going over the speed limit makes it harder to control and stop a vehicle. It also reduces the benefits of safety gear and causes more severe physical and property damage in an accident. For these reasons, Illinois has been increasing the penalties of speeding.

4 reasons why teens use drugs

When you get the call that your teenager is in trouble with the law, you feel anger, confusion and frustration. You may wonder why your son or daughter is experimenting with drugs. It is common to feel like you are a failure or that your teen is a bad kid. 

The truth may not be either of those things, though. Teens are not just trying drugs because they are rebellious or you are a bad parent; there are some real reasons that adolescents get into trouble with drugs. Here are a few of the most common ones:

How Illinois police officers identify impaired drivers

When you drive in Illinois, you might benefit from understanding why police officers decide to stop certain cars and what makes them look for further signs of impairment.

Excluding stops at properly organized sobriety checkpoints, law enforcement officers must have probable cause for DUI stops and arrests. When an officer cannot point to specific, legitimate reasons he or she believed a driver was impaired, the prosecution's case can suffer.

Penalties for Illinois' repeat DUI offenders

If you consume alcohol before getting behind the wheel and an Illinois law enforcement official stops you and believes you have consumed more than the law allows, he or she will likely charge you with drunk driving. Ultimately, the penalties you can expect to face will vary based on several factors, among them the details of your offense and whether you have any similar convictions on your record.

Even first-time driving under the influence offenders face harsh penalties, and they might include a revocation of driving privileges, a suspension of vehicle registration and steep fines, among others. Additionally, penalties become increasingly severe if your blood alcohol content surpasses 0.16 percent, or if you have a child under the age of 16 in your vehicle when authorities stop and arrest you. However, as you might expect, the penalties tend to increase in severity if your drunk driving conviction is your second or third offense.

Clearing your criminal record in Illinois

If you live in Illinois and are arrested or charged with a criminal offense, a criminal record automatically gets created in your name, even if you never actually receive a criminal conviction. Your criminal record then becomes available to the public, meaning anyone from prospective employers to prospective life partners can get their hands on it with relative ease – unless you do something about it.

If you wish to erase or conceal your Illinois criminal record, the first step involves filing a request with the court. You can attempt to utilize one of three different methods when you want to clear your criminal record. You can work to have it expunged or sealed, but if you are unable to do either, you may be able to pursue executive clemency.

How Illinois drug courts work

Over the years, judicial systems throughout the United States have undergone a growing recognition that normal criminal penalties may not be the best way to address drug crimes stemming from addiction. As a result, many states, including Illinois, have implemented a system of treatment courts.

Drug court can offer benefits to some, but they are not for everyone. An experienced defense attorney can give you more information and advise you as to the best course to take in your individual situation.

Risk factors for drug addiction in young adults

When you think of a typical drug addict, does a stereotypical image of a homeless, jobless person come to mind? While there are certainly drug users who fit that description, addiction actually affects a wide range of people.

You may think your teen is safe because of your financially stable lifestyle, but there are more risk factors than just income level and education. In fact, according to one study, high socioeconomic status correlated with higher use of alcohol and marijuana in young adults. Become familiar with these relevant factors from to help you evaluate the risk of your teen or college-aged child becoming involved with drugs.

Driving while using prescription marijuana could result in DUI

Medical marijuana can be a lifesaver for peoples suffering from certain conditions. But with its use comes certain legal issues to be aware of.

You may already be aware that driving while under the influence of narcotics is illegal in Illinois. But you may not realize that you can still receive a DUI charge even if you have a medical marijuana card. Such a card is not a legal license for you to drive while high or impaired.

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