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Naperville Illinois Criminal Defense Law Blog

Illinois Supreme Court overturns sex offender internet ban

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled on Nov. 21 that prohibiting convicted sex offenders from accessing social media websites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn violated the First Amendment right to free speech. The six participating justices voted unanimously to overturn the state law ban. Chief Justice Anne Burke did not take part in the proceedings. The justices heard arguments in a case involving a man who was sentenced to four years of probation in McLean County for the sexual abuse of a minor. The man committed his crime when he was a teenager and did not use the internet to contact his victim.

The justices were unconvinced by prosecutors who argued that the social media ban helped to rehabilitate sex offenders by eliminating a source of temptation. One justice pointed out that the law does not differentiate between offenders who used the internet to orchestrate and commit their crimes and those who did not.

Parents of mass murderer face sexual assault charges

The parents of an Illinois man who is serving multiple life sentences for a week-long killing spree in 2008 have been charged in connection with the alleged predatory sexual assault of a child. Police have released only scant details of the investigation because a minor is involved. The couple, who are both 62 years of age, were taken into custody on Nov. 14 when the Rock Falls Police Department executed warrants that had been issued in Whiteside County.

The man is charged with a raft of sex offenses including multiple counts of predatory sexual assault of a child and attempted sexual assault. All of the charges against him are felonies, and he could be sentenced to up to 143 years in prison if he is convicted on all counts. He is being kept without bond at the Whiteside County Jail. The woman has been charged with a single count of endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly failing to report her husband's behavior to the authorities. She was let out of custody after posting bond, according to media reports. Initial media reports do not reveal when the couple are scheduled to appear in court again.

False accusations of domestic abuse can complicate your life

Perhaps few criminal charges can change your life so quickly and as completely as a domestic violence charge. One reason is because many who face such charges never see it coming. They have not been abusive toward their spouses or partners, and they may have done little more than raise their voices during an argument.

Unfortunately, anyone dealing with accusations of domestic abuse must also deal with laws that give the benefit of the doubt to the accuser. In fact, this is often the reason why someone going through a divorce or custody battle may use domestic abuse accusations as a weapon to gain an advantage in these legal proceedings.

Police in Illinois worry about looming marijuana legalization

Many senior law enforcement officials in Illinois anticipate facing significantly higher overtime, equipment and training costs after the recreational use of marijuana becomes legal in the state on Jan. 1, 2020. Determining whether or not a driver is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol can be done at the roadside in just a few minutes with portable breath-testing devices, but matters become far more complex when drug use is suspected.

In these situations, suspected drugged drivers are taken by police to a nearby hospital. Officers must then obtain a search warrant to collect blood and urine samples from the suspect for testing. The legal limit for THC in the bloodstream is five nanograms per milliliter in Illinois. These additional steps will add at least an hour to DUI traffic stops according to police officials. This is a concern because many police departments in Illinois are understaffed and lack the resources to pay additional overtime.

DUI charges related to legal drugs

of the motorists in Illinois and around the country who are accused of driving under the influence are taken into custody because they consumed alcohol or took illegal narcotics before getting behind the wheel, but operating a motor vehicle while impaired by prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications can also lead to a DUI charge. The key factor in an intoxicated driving case is impairment, and there are dozens of legal substances that can affect an individual's ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.

Taking narcotic pain relievers or sleep aids before driving is especially dangerous, and many over-the-counter products that are designed to promote sleep or ease suffering use prominent warning labels to let consumers know about this risk. These products can reduce reaction times and cause drowsiness even when only the recommended dose is taken. Fermented beverages such as kombucha tea and some herbal health supplements can also impair drivers.

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.

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