Blogs | Law Office of Jack L Zaremba


6 Things To Do Before Signing a Commercial Lease

Joliet commercial real estate lawyer

Starting a new business or moving an existing business to a new location is a complex process. Understanding your rights and needs when signing a commercial lease is instrumental in the success of your business. The following are six actions you should take before signing a lease for any commercial property:

  • Make sure you sign a lease that is right for you and your business. There are four main types of commercial leases :
    • In a single net lease, you will only pay property tax and utilities, while the owner pays for insurance, repairs, and maintenance.
    • In a double net lease, you will pay property taxes, utilities, and insurance premiums, while the landlord will pay for repairs and maintenance.
    • In a triple net lease, you will be paying all building costs, and the owner will be paying for certain repairs.
    • In a modified gross lease , you will be responsible for the base rent, and in the following years, you will pay both the base rent and some operating expenses.
  • Read the lease in its entirety. If you do not understand parts of the lease, ask a realtor or a real estate attorney . Be sure that you know what types of expenses you will be responsible for.
  • Gain permission from the city or township before you sign the lease.
  • The property owner may or may not know if your business is approved for zoning.
  • Do not rush the process. Regardless of your situation, rushing lease negotiations can result in not getting what you want or being put in a financially vulnerable position. Leases are negotiable , so if you wish to change certain provisions in the lease, discuss the proposed changes with the landlord.
  • Be open-minded. Avoid settling on the first property you see because you believe it would be a “good deal.” You may or may not get a fair deal for the first property, so be sure to look at other commercial properties in your desired geographic location.
  • Consult an experienced real estate attorney. A knowledgeable real estate lawyer can help you not only understand the terms of a proposed lease agreement, but they can also aid and advise you during the lease negotiation process.

Contact a Will County Real Estate Lawyer

At the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, our real estate lawyer, Attorney Ann Zaremba, can guide you throughout the process of purchasing or leasing both residential and commercial property. Contact our Joliet real estate attorney today by calling (815) 740-4025.

Longtime Illinois Lawmaker Charged With Retail Theft

Joliet Retail Theft Lawyer

In an ideal world, nobody would be above the law. Our world, of course, is not perfect, and many individuals—especially business leaders and politicians—seem to get away with things that the average citizen would not. For at least one former Illinois state representative, however, this does not appear to be the case, as she is now facing charges in connection with retail theft from a shopping center in Lombard.

Alleged Return Fraud Attempt

According to several local news outlets , the 71-year-old former General Assembly member allegedly stole three women’s clothing items from a Von Maur store at the Yorktown Shopping Center in late September. The items were reportedly taken around 2:00 in the afternoon. Authorities say that the woman returned to the store a little after 9:00 p.m. the same day and tried to return the stolen merchandise for cash or store credit.

The woman was arrested and charged with retail theft. Reports indicated that the value of the merchandise in question was about $570 — enough to justify felony charges under Illinois law. The DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office, however, chose to file misdemeanor charges instead and she has since pled not guilty. The former lawmaker was released on bail and is due back in court next month.

Understanding Retail Theft in Illinois

The Illinois Criminal Code recognizes retail theft as its own type of property crime separate from “regular” theft, which generally refers to stealing from another person or a non-commercial entity. Retail theft charges and the associated penalties generally depend on the nature and value of the stolen items as well as how the theft was committed. For example, a person who simply conceals merchandise valued at less than $300 and leaves a store with it through the front door may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. If the suspect uses an emergency exit to leave the store with the same merchandise, however, he or she may face Class 4 felony charges. Any retail theft of merchandise valued at more than $300 can also be charged as a felony.

It is important to understand that retail theft charges may apply to more than just shoplifting. Switching price tags or boxes, under-ringing merchandise, and attempting to return items that have not been legally purchased for financial gain are also considered forms of retail theft.

Facing Retail Theft Charges?

If you or your child has been charged with retail theft, the consequences can be serious and long-lasting, but you may have options in protecting your future. Contact an experienced Will County criminal defense attorney to get the guidance you need. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation today.

Understanding Domestic Battery in Illinois

illinois domestic battery

Domestic violence is a problem that continues to plague tens of thousands of families across the country. Despite countless awareness programs, educational campaigns, and victim empowerment efforts, as many as one in three women and one in four men will experience domestic violence at the hands of an intimate partner at least once in their lifetime.

In terms of the law, domestic abuse is an area that blurs the line between family law and criminal law. It is understandable that such behavior would be a factor in cases related to child custody and parental rights, but the same actions that cost a parent time with his or her children could also result in criminal penalties as well. Domestic violence is most often charged as domestic battery in Illinois, and it is important to understand the potential consequences.

Two Types of Actions

Just as the crime of battery may be committed in two ways, domestic battery can too. A person commits domestic battery when he or she causes bodily harm to a family or household member. Domestic battery may also be charged in the absence of bodily harm if a person makes physical contact of a provoking or insulting nature with a family or household member. Thus, a slap across the face could be considered domestic battery, even if the slap did not cause a cut or bruise.

For the purposes of the law, family members and household members include current or former romantic partners, parents, children, stepchildren, stepparents, relatives by blood or marriage, current or former roommates, and disabled individuals and their caregivers. An individual with whom one shares a child in common is also included.

Criminal Consequences

Domestic battery is, at the very least, a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison and $2,500 in fines. Unlike other misdemeanors, domestic battery is also not eligible for court supervision or other diversionary programs that can prevent a permanent conviction from being part of the offender’s permanent record. A domestic battery conviction can also not be sealed. A second offense is automatically a Class 4 felony, which carries up to three years in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of three days’ imprisonment.

Protecting Your Rights

While there are a few ways to mount a defense against charges of domestic battery, the most common is that the defendant was acting to protect him- or herself. The right defense for your case, however, will depend entirely on your unique circumstances. If you have been arrested for domestic battery, an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney can help protect your future. Call Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 for a free consultation today.


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