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Justifiable Force, Self Defense, and Weapons Charges

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Illinois legalized the concealed carry of firearms in 2014, which led to a large number of applications for concealed carry permits. Since then, the number of applications has tapered somewhat, but the initial surge by Illinois citizens to secure concealed carry permits was likely fueled by the belief that carrying a handgun is a good way to defend oneself. While “self defense” is a legitimate and strong defense strategy, it may not be the solution to all one’s legal troubles if the same situation results in a gun or weapons charge .

Justifiable Use of Force

In the state of Illinois, the law allows for a person to use force under specific situations. In these scenarios, one can be cleared of wrongdoing if they were deemed to have used justifiable force. The specific situations in which justifiable force is allowed are as follows:

• Use of force in defense of a person is allowed when one believes they are facing the threat of great bodily harm or death due to the actions of another person.
• Use of force against another person in defense of one’s dwelling is considered permissible if it is necessary to prevent unlawful entry or an attack on the dwelling. The attempted entry must be of a violent or unrestrained manner.
• Use of force in defense of one’s property (other than a dwelling) is considered allowable if it is necessary to prevent others from illegally trespassing and interfering criminally with one’s rightful real or personal property.

The use of force is allowed even to the point of causing bodily harm or death to the person alleged to have initiated the threat. Furthermore, the law prevents those alleged to have initiated the threat, as well as their family members, to pursue action against the individual deemed to have used justifiable force, unless “willful or wanton misconduct” is found.

Facing Other Charges

Even if someone is exonerated for the use of force, or if they possess the appropriate licensing for a gun, they may still face charges. Here are some examples of cases where other charges may apply:

• A Colorado Springs man cleared of using a gun in self defense is facing a weapons charge because he is considered an offender in a previous felony weapons possession case.
• In the case of a Michigan woman who pulled a handgun in defense of her daughter during a fight among shoppers, police indicate that she had a valid concealed carry permit, but are still working with prosecutors to determine if charges are necessary.

Build Your Defense with Help from an Experienced Joliet Gun and Weapons Lawyer

The stress and uncertainty of gun or weapons charges is not something you should ever face on your own. The help of a knowledgeable Will County gun and weapons defense attorney will ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the process. The Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba will conduct a detailed review of the charges, study your case thoroughly, and build a defense strategy which will help you obtain appropriate relief from undue hardship.

Illinois Law Protects Good Samaritans

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Hardly a day goes by when one does not see a video, whether online or on TV news broadcasts, of a crime being committed or a person in distress. With just about every single person now equipped with a video camera as part of their cell phone, the possibility of catching one of these incidents on video becomes more and more likely. However, this phenomenon raises questions as to whether a bystander could face criminal charges or other legal action for failing to assist an accident or crime victim.

What are You Required to Do?

The possible scenarios that result from applying “Good Samaritan” laws and a person’s duty to render aid are truly numerous. From coming upon a car accident to shooting an intruder in your own home, the action (or inaction) you take next can have consequences. Listed here are a few examples applicable to this topic:

• A person involved in a car accident is required, if physically able, to “render aid” to other injured parties. This can range from administering first aid to calling 9-1-1 for help. Failing to do so may result in a Class A Misdemeanor charge.
• A witness to a car crash or other accident IS NOT legally required to render aid. However, beginning aid and then stopping, or providing bad or ill-advised help may result in some level of liability.
• A gun owner who shoots another person , whether by accident or with intent, is required to call law enforcement and/or emergency services for help.
o On a related note: Illinois does not have a “stand your ground” law. Therefore, if a homeowner, even one who possesses a Firearm Owners ID card and properly licensed weapon, shoots a person who was in their home uninvited, they may still face charges.
• Doctors and other trained medical personnel are protected by the state’s Good Samaritan Act . This allows them to provide care, in good faith, without fear of legal or civil consequences.
o Furthermore, an updated law signed in 2011 protects citizens trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and not just “certified rescuers,” against legal or civil action when providing a victim with responsible assistance.

Get Your Legal Advice from a Knowledgeable Will County Defense Attorney

Even the brightest minds can have difficulty understanding the nuances of law. An experienced and knowledgeable Illinois defense lawyer can help you understand the charges you face, inform you of your options for avoiding prosecution, and present various scenarios for mitigating possible sentences handed down by the court. The Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba reviews every detail of your case and creates a defense strategy suited to your specific experience.

Speeding in a School Zone Could Result in Jail Time

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School is back in session, which means that many residential areas are suddenly much quieter during the day and homework clutters kitchen tables in the evening. As families with school-aged children get back into the swing of the school year, drivers throughout Illinois must take extra precautions when driving near school buildings as speeding in a school zone could result in hefty fines and points on their driving record. If a driver is going fast enough, he or she could even face time in jail.

Be Aware of School Zones

According to Illinois law , school zone speed restrictions may be put in place around any public, private, or religious elementary school, middle school, or high school. The law also applies to all types of nursery schools. During the school day—defined as between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. when school is in session—drivers may not exceed 20 miles per hour when “passing a school zone or while traveling on a roadway on public school property or upon any public thoroughfare where children pass going to and from school.”

It is important to note that school zones must be properly marked by appropriate signs. Drivers are not required to guess where a school zone begins.

Penalties for Speeding

Speeding in a school zone is a petty offense which results in a minimum fine of $150 for a first offense and a minimum of $300 for a second or subsequent offense. A conviction also adds 20 points to a driver’s record. A driver who accumulates three traffic convictions in 12 months will be subject to a license suspension depending on the number points associated with the convictions, beginning with a two-month suspension for 15-44 points.

Drivers engaged in excessive speeding in a school zone, however, may face more serious charges. Excessive speeding is defined as traveling more than 26 miles per hour above the posted limit. Driving at least 26 miles per hour or more but less than 35 miles per hour over the speed limit is a Class B misdemeanor which carries up to 180 days in jail and fines of up to $1,500. Speeding at more than 35 miles per hour above a school zone limit is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and $2,500 in fines.

A Traffic Violations Attorney Can Help

If you have received a citation for speeding in a school zone or have been arrested for excessive speeding, it is important to work with an advocate who is dedicated to protecting your rights. Contact an experienced driver’s license reinstatement to discuss your case. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation today.

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