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Illinois Supreme Court Upholds Drew Peterson Conviction

Joliet criminal lawyers

One of the legal constants that most any defendant should be able to rely on when being charged with a crime is the opportunity to face their accuser in a court of law. However, those facing felony criminal charges in Illinois, and perhaps soon other states, may no longer have this chance, due in part to a recent decision handed down by the Illinois State Supreme Court.

Rehearing Denied for Convicted Murderer

In what amounted to yet another attempt to win a retrial on charges of murdering an ex-wife, a defendant and his attorneys learned in January that the Illinois Supreme Court would not rehear their appeal. In issuing its decision, the panel essentially upheld a ruling it made late last year.

In 2012, with hearsay testimony from his still missing and believed dead fourth wife, Drew Peterson was convicted of murdering his third wife. The state legislature had passed and the governor signed a law specifically targeted at allowing such testimony. In October of last year, the state’s Supreme Court ruled that the hearsay law did not violate a defendant’s constitutional right to face their accuser.

The latest ruling by the state’s high court denied arguments made by the convicted murderer’s defense team, which included a renewed appeal of the Illinois hearsay law and a claim that his previous attorney failed to provide an effective defense. The current defense team maintained the original trial was unfair and tailor-made to result in a conviction. The defense team had stated previously that, should their efforts to gain a favorable ruling fail in Illinois, they would strongly consider taking up their case against the state’s hearsay law before the United States Supreme Court.

Fight for Your Freedom with an Experienced Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney

Whether you have been in court previously or are facing criminal charges for the very first time, walking into a courtroom can create tremendous anxiety. However, with the help of an aggressive and resourceful Will County criminal defense attorney, you will feel more confident knowing those representing you have the knowledge and experience to present a strong defense on your behalf. The Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba provides a meticulous review of every detail to ensure that nothing is overlooked in fighting the criminal charges levied against our clients. To schedule a free initial consultation please call our offices 815-740-4025. A member of our legal team will answer all your questions.

Can a YouTube Video or Instagram Post Get You Arrested?

Joliet criminal lawyers

Can a social media post lead to a criminal arrest? The answer, at least in Illinois these past few years, is a resounding “yes.” You might think that you have protected your social media accounts with all the right privacy settings. But that may not stop the police from using social media posts to identify, locate, and arrest you, as evidenced by these recent cases in which social media posts helped police nab criminals.

Instagram Video Results in Drug Charges

Consider a case involving a 16-year-old male in Peru, Illinois, who posted a video of “an individual displaying a firearm in a threatening manner.” The 13-second video was only up on Instagram for a short time before it was removed, but it was up long enough for some Ottawa students to see it and report it to their school resource officer in February 2018. The Peru police quickly located the teen and extensively searched his residence, finding illegal drugs but no firearm. The young man was charged with disorderly conduct, unlawful possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

YouTube Video Nets Traffic Violator

Helmet-cam fun turned into an arrest on felony charges for a St. Charles, Illinois, man in 2017. The 23-year-old motorcyclist filmed himself fleeing from a police officer, speeding, and running red lights. For safety reasons, the police did not embark on a high-speed chase. The motorcyclist assumed police would not be able to identify him, because he had no license plate on his motorcycle. He posted the video on YouTube. A few days later, the St. Charles police department received an email with links to the anonymous YouTube video, as well as a Facebook page and Instagram account. The police were able to connect the heretofore anonymous motorcyclist to his real-world identity via tattoos visible in both the YouTube video and on his social media pages. The motorcyclist was arrested at his home a few days later and charged with several traffic crimes.

Police Facebook Post Yields Tips Leading to Burglar

When police in the small town of Kincaid, Illinois, needed help finding a serial burglar in January 2017, they turned to Facebook. They posted a video clip captured by a security camera at one of the shops that had been robbed. Local citizens viewed the video 11,000 times and gave the police about 50 “I think this could be so-and-so” tips. The town’s police chief has credited social media with playing a role in more than 50 percent of his team’s burglary arrests.

Based on these examples, everyone should be careful about what they post on social media. Know that the police are actively using social media themselves to gather evidence and support arrests and criminal charges.

Protect Your Rights with an Experienced Will County Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested, whether social media played a role or not, you need an attorney who will carefully investigate the details of your case and provide an aggressive defense. Contact a knowledgeable Joliet criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. For a free and confidential consultation, call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025; calls are responded to 24 hours a day.

Fewer Inspections Now Required for Commercial Trucks in Illinois

Joliet cdl lawyers

Historically speaking, driving a truck in Illinois has come with more burdensome regulations than one might encounter if working in other states. However, with the start of the new year, some of that burden was reduced, and Illinois trucking regulations have been brought in line with those imposed by federal standards.

Only One Inspection Now Required

Until this year, truck owners who operated their vehicles only in the state of Illinois were required to have those trucks inspected once every six months. However, a new bill passed last summer and signed into law in August of 2017 reduced the number of required inspections to just one per year. This change means Illinois’ regulatory process mirrors that of federal requirements, as well as those of neighboring states.

Some of the advantages that come with the new law include, but are not limited to:

• Less time spent off the road during the inspection process.
• Reduced cost to truck owners for expenses in taking trucks out of service to get inspected.
• Less inconvenience for those who own vehicles that are used only seasonally, such as farmers.

Representatives of an organization that represents truckers in Illinois are relieved that the new law is finally taking effect. While they agree that more frequent inspections were required of trucks that were on the roads in the past, newer model vehicles are typically safer and engineered to meet high environmental standards.

Aiding Business Growth and Development

In addition to relieving the burden on farmers who were required to get two inspections per year on many vehicles that went unused the majority of the year, the new law is expected to help out small and medium-sized trucking companies in Illinois. The revenue previously lost due to the added inspections might now be targeted for hiring new drivers and other business expansion initiatives.

Protect Your Livelihood With the Help of a Dedicated Will County CDL Attorney

For most commercial truck drivers, having restrictions placed on or losing their commercial driver’s license could severely damage their ability to make a living. If the threat of the accumulation of citations or violations is weighing on you, get the assistance of a knowledgeable Illinois CDL defense attorney to help you protect your right to drive and earn a living. At the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, we will apply our in-depth knowledge of Illinois CDL regulations on your behalf. Do not leave the future of your career to just anyone. Call our offices today at 815-740-4025 and schedule a free initial consultation to ask questions and discuss available options.

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