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Naperville Illinois Criminal Defense Law Blog

Are breath test devices reliable?

In Illinois, and in most other states across the nation, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 or higher. In some cases, people who have a BAC level of 0.05 can be arrested as well. If you are pulled over on suspicion of drinking and driving, an officer may ask you to submit to a roadside breath test. These devices are used to determine your BAC level without actually taking a blood sample. The problem lies in the fact that these devices do not always yield accurate results, which could lead to a wrongful DUI arrest. 

Breath test devices work by measuring the amount of ethanol alcohol in an exhaled breath sample. It then takes this number and converts it to a blood alcohol level. Yet, the device is known to pick up other substances that have a similar chemical structure to ethanol. Furthermore, other factors can influence the readings. According to the State University of New York at Potsdam, these factors include the following:

Is it possible to get a DUI on an electric scooter in Illinois?

Bird and Lime scooters have been popping up in small and large cities across America. As national attention has focused on the numerous injuries caused by the scooters, many wonder if they could face charges for riding one under the influence.

How can opiate charges impact you?

Illinois residents who are charged with opiate or opioid related crimes have a lot at risk if they are convicted. At the Law Office of Philip R. Nathe, we work to provide you with information on the potential impact of convictions you may be facing.

Opioids and opiates are considered illicit drugs. As such, they fall under the jurisdiction of drug-related criminal activity. Illinois cracks down heavily on drug users and drug-related crimes, regardless of how many times you have committed any in the past. Just a few of the impacts you might suffer from if you are convicted of a drug-related crime include:

  • Fines
  • Prison sentences
  • Loss of financial aid or college grants
  • Trouble renting or leasing homes or apartments
  • Trouble getting hired due to charges showing up on your background check

Are you under suspicion of drug possession?

Dealing with criminal charges puts anyone in a difficult spot. You may have felt as if you were doing fairly well in life only to end up on the radar of police for drug-related activity. Now, you worry about how the outcome of your case could affect your future.

Fortunately, you can take steps to lessen the chance of seriously negative consequences following you for the rest of your life. As with any criminal charge, you have the right to defend against drug possession allegations. When it comes to creating a meaningful defense presentation, you may want to start with understanding the exact charges brought against you.

Statutes of limitations on child sex abuse crimes eliminated

Several years ago, Illinois eliminated the statutes of limitations on child sex abuse crimes. This had a lasting impact on the way sex abuse crimes are handled in the state. What does this mean for you if you are currently facing allegations related to these crimes?

The Chicago Tribune recently reported that all major sex crimes have had their statutes of limitations eliminated. This means prosecutors do not have a time limit in which they can bring forth charges for any sexual offense regardless of the age of the victim in question. Currently, this includes child sex abuse crimes, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and criminal sexual assault. Previously, prosecutors had 10 years to bring a case before a judge. A victim had 3 years to report the crime to authorities in order for it to be eligible for a court hearing, as well.

Can police ticket you for using your phone on Illinois roads?

It is officially time to put down the phone while driving in Illinois. Laws changed on July 1st, allowing police officers to issue tickets to almost anyone using a hand-held device while operating a motor vehicle.

Before this summer, you might have expected to get off with a warning for your first stop. The new laws could result in stricter penalties overall, as they focus on ticketing rather than giving warnings. Prosecutors may also add this to other charges, such as DUI.

New Illinois marijuana laws do not change DUI laws

In January of 2020, recreational marijuana will be legal for Illinois residents. But while the laws on marijuana change in the state, laws on driving while under the influence of marijuana will stay the same.

In Illinois, you are still breaking the law if you drive under the influence of marijuana. Police will be able to arrest you for a DUI. As recreational marijuana becomes legal, make sure you understand Illinois DUI laws.

Current marijuana laws in place until 2020

Many people may be happy to hear about the impending legalization of marijuana in Illinois. They may not realize, though, that marijuana will not officially be legal until January 2020.

The Illinois legislature has steadily made steps to legalize marijuana. According to the Chicago Tribune, since 2016 people have been subject to a civil fine if they have 10 grams or less of this substance. Additionally, some state attorneys plan to aid people in the expungement of their records. The new bill proposed by legislators allows people to have up to 30 grams of marijuana if they purchase the substance from a licensed store or grower. The bill also permits the commercial sale of cannabis and allows people to remove certain cannabis convictions from their record. 

How can a DUI conviction impact you?

In Illinois, the laws governing how DUI-related crimes are handled can be quite strict. As someone facing charges for a DUI crime, you will want to avoid it becoming a conviction. We at the Law Office of Philip R. Nathe are here to help.

Penalties typically fall into one of two categories: short-term and long-term. Short-term penalties usually last for a smaller duration and generally are a "one-time thing". This includes fines or fees. Jail time can also fall under this category, as some people may receive short sentences. In other cases, however, those convicted of DUI crimes could spend a year or more in jail.

What Illinois parents should know about hazing

After the heat of August comes the start of a new school year. For many Illinois parents, that means sending their kids off to college. Textbooks, dreams, dorms, academic aspirations and-all too often-brutal and demeaning hazing rituals.

Every year, students across the United States throw themselves into unsafe situations to gain the approval of others. And then once they've earned their memberships, they eagerly turn around and lash out at the next crop of freshmen. It's a cycle of violence often dismissed as youthful exuberance, or childish folly, but it's dangerous, illegal and increasingly under the spotlight.

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