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Reasonable Suspicion and DUI Charges

Joliet DUI Criminal LawyerConsider any traffic stop in which you have ever been involved. Even in a simple stop for something such as a broken tail light, this formality is a form of a seizure, which is addressed the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. When a stop is performed without just and reasonable suspicion, any charges that follow may be deemed unconstitutional and be dismissed, even in cases involving DUI . However, obtaining this outcome often depends on favorable circumstances coupled with a knowledgeable attorney who has the ability to use them to your advantage.

The Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment protects citizens against unlawful searches and seizures—including arrests—and requires a court-issued warrant even in cases with probable cause. However, a loophole exists in which if the officer believes the driver or general public are in danger, a warrantless stop is permissible. Reasonably suspicious activities are not clear-cut or defined for law enforcement officers, offering ambiguity that allows an officer to use his or her judgment given the present circumstances. If the stop is improper, the stop itself and any resulting evidence are challengeable. Possible concerns include:

• An illegal stop with no reasonable suspicion; or
• An illegal search without a warrant based on probable cause.

Using One Charge to Initiate a Second

Think back to the circumstances surrounding your most recent traffic stop. In incidents beginning with something relatively minor small like Improper Lane Usage (ILU), the officer might have suspected DUI and had no proof. Upon pulling you over, police may have accumulated more evidence to support a DUI charge. Cops notoriously watch the outer walls of the tires on a passenger vehicle waiting for them to cross one line or another, using a minor alleged infraction as the basis for the stop. In many cases, even the ILU is not enforceable but was merely the basis for conducting the stop in the first place. Once the initial stop occurs, officers use other clues to build a DUI case, including:

• Slurred speech;
• Alcohol odor;
• Slow reaction times;
• Sweating; and
• Glassy eyes.

Did the Officer Behave Improperly?

If you are facing DUI charges and believe the officer used improper protocol to obtain evidence, it is important that you communicate these concerns with a proven and aggressive attorney. Officers create reports at the end of each incident, and through the use of dash cameras and body cameras, the truth is often discoverable.

Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Joliet to discuss your case today. Call 815-740-4025 to schedule your free consultation at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba and get the help you need.

Factors That Place Youth at Risk for Juvenile Delinquency

Joliet Juvenile Criminal LawyerThe causes for youth crime are just as diverse as the reasons behind adult crime with some leading to nothing more than a one-time offense, while others result in repetitive, problematic behaviors that continue for much of the offender’s lifetime. Delinquent acts, as they are referred to in the juvenile justice system , can be triggered by mere peer pressure or can stem from a more serious, deep-rooted emotional problem. Whatever the cause for juvenile delinquency, any act committed by a young person that may be considered criminal should not be taken lightly.

Criminal Motivation

A number of things can motivate a youth offender to commit a delinquent act, but studies show that there are certain factors that contribute to a teen’s tendency to display criminal behavior. When it comes to youth violence, for example, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that the following factors make it more likely that a young person will commit violent acts and continue to commit the same acts over time:

• Personal history of violent victimization;
• Severe emotional stress;
• History of being exposed to violence and conflict in the household;
• The use of drugs and alcohol; and
• Certain learning disorders.

The CDC also reveals that antisocial beliefs or attitudes, as well as a history of aggressive behavior or past treatment for emotional problems all indicate a higher chance of juvenile violence.

Other Risk Factors

Other factors that are proven to contribute to youth violence include peer and community influences. For example, when young people associate with other delinquents, they are more likely to commit delinquent acts themselves. On the opposite side of the spectrum, if they exhibit no interaction with peers and experience rejection, with no involvement in conventional activities, they are also at risk for involving themselves with juvenile crime. High poverty levels and diminished economic opportunities are also responsible for spikes in juvenile delinquency, particularly violent acts.

Another interesting finding regarding at-risk youth involves school policies, such as expulsion and suspension. A study conducted by The National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine revealed that such policies are actually linked to an increase in delinquent behavior, sadly bringing about the opposite effect school officials hope to have with the enforcement of those policies.

If someone you know has been accused of a youth crime, it is important that they speak with an experienced juvenile defense attorney in Joliet right away to ensure their rights are protected in a court of law. A strong case begins with qualified representation from a competent, knowledgeable professional. Call the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 today for a free consultation.

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Illinois Concealed Carry Appeal

Illinois Conceal CarryThe state of Illinois has long been known for its strict laws regarding the ownership of firearms and other issues related to weapons. In fact, Illinois was the last state in the nation to even create a process for issuing concealed carry permits, doing so in 2012 only after a federal appeals court found that the state’s prohibition of concealed carry permits violated the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The issue has been back in the news in recent months as several Illinois gun owners have claimed the current process for obtaining a concealed carry permit violates their rights to due process.

Federal Appeals Court Rules Upholds Current System

Last spring, the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments regarding lawsuits filed by gun owners who believed the state’s laws regarding concealed carry permits violated their constitutional rights. The plaintiffs claimed that they met all of the qualifications to be issued a concealed carry permit under Illinois law, but their permits were not issued due to objections that had been lodged with one or more law enforcement agencies. When the applicants sought additional information, they were denied. They each filed lawsuits citing a deficiency in due process.

While their cases were pending, the state of Illinois recognized the problem of not informing an applicant regarding such an objection. A new set of regulations was drafted and adopted which directly addressed the plaintiff’s concerns. They continued with their lawsuits, however, instead of re-filing for a permit under the new guidelines. The Seventh Circuit Appeals Court determined that while the plaintiffs may have had a case under the original guidelines, the system for issuing concealed carry permits, as amended, does not violate an applicant’s right to due process.

No Further Action

Unsatisfied with the appellate court’s response, three of the plaintiffs sought to have their cases heard by the United States Supreme Court. This week , the Supreme Court determined without further comment that it would not hear the appeal. In declining the appeal, the high court will let the Seventh Circuit’s ruling on the matter be the final word.

Facing Weapons Charges?

It is against the law in Illinois to own or carry a weapon without the proper permits from the state. If you are facing criminal charges related to illegal weapons, the consequences could be severe. Contact an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney to discuss your available options. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba today.

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