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DUI Charges and Delayed Intoxication

Joliet DUI LawyerIf you are not normally a drinker and recently went out with friends, you may have found yourself in an unfortunate circumstance—a delayed sense of intoxication that ultimately resulted in a DUI charge . What is this phenomenon, though, and why is it important?

What is Delayed Intoxication?

Delayed intoxication is exactly what the phrase implies: an individual who has consumed alcohol does not immediately feel the effects of the alcohol but later realizes they are more intoxicated than they initially though. Delayed intoxication could happen if your tolerance for alcohol has changed because of age or weight loss or due to other factors, such as how much food you ate before you started drinking. If you at home, a friend’s house, or an establishment when the alcohol catches up with you, it is unlikely to matter all that much. On the other hand, if you start to feel the effects while you are behind the wheel, you could be in for some trouble.

When Delayed Intoxication Leads to a DUI

It might sound like a made-up phenomenon, but delayed intoxication is a real thing. It can also result in some serious consequences, such as an accident and/or criminal charges for driving over the legal limit. So what if the latter happens? Is there anything that can be done, or should you just accept the consequences? You might be surprised to learn that this could potentially be used as your defense. Granted, every situation is different, which is why it is critical to ensure you have an experienced attorney assisting you with your case.

Give Up or Fight the Charges?

Fighting DUI charges might not seem like the responsible thing to do—especially if you did actually drive intoxicated. Yet, if you normally make very responsible choices and in this particular instance you suffered from delayed intoxication, you should not feel guilty for using a valid and real defense to combat the charges against you. Further, it is critical that you understand the consequences of not fighting back. In Illinois, you could lose your license for up to a year, and you may be required to use a monitoring device just to get to and from work or school in addition to expensive fines and possible imprisonment.

Do not let this happen to you. Contact an experienced Joliet DUI defense attorney and get the quality legal defense you deserve. We will fight for your rights and seek the most favorable outcome possible in your case. Call the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 for a free consultation today.

The Burden of Proof in a Criminal Case

Joliet Criminal LawyerWhen an individual has been charged with a crime, he or she is presumed to be innocent until he or she is proven guilty in a court of law. In a criminal case, the burden of proof is the highest in any area of the law, and justifiably so. Other areas of law deal primarily with concerns related to money and property, but a criminal defendant often faces serious punitive consequences, including, in some states, the death penalty. While capital punishment is no longer used in Illinois, a criminal conviction can still change a person’s life forever. The standard of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt looks to ensure that only the truly guilty are convicted and subsequently punished.

The Government’s Role

News stories and television programs often make reference to the idea that the victim of a crime can press charges against the alleged perpetrator. This, however, is only partially true. It is possible for a victim to file a police report and to cooperate in the prosecution of an alleged offender, but it is up to the government to decide whether or not to actually pursue a conviction. Depending on the nature of the offense, the prosecution may be handled by a United States Attorney in federal court or by the State’s Attorney’s office in the appropriate Illinois county.

If a prosecutor elects to file formal criminal charges against a suspect, the burden of proof is on the prosecution. This means that the attorneys for the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the offense for which he or she has been charged. Case law and jury instructions from around the country require the trier of fact—a judge or jury member—to acquit the defendant if there is any reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. A defendant is not required to prove his or her innocence.

The Role of a Defense Attorney

Because the prosecution in a criminal matter has the burden of proof, why are defense attorneys so important—especially if the defendant is innocent? A defense attorney serves a number of purposes, but his or her most critical roles are to ensure that the rights of the defendant have not been compromised and that proper court procedures are followed at all times. To protect the rights of the defendant, a defense attorney will review police reports, arrest records, affidavits, and indictments, looking for any inconsistencies. A defense lawyer is also responsible for challenging arguments and evidence offered by the prosecution—particularly if the evidence is circumstantial but has been presented as indisputable fact.

Contact a Skilled Defense Attorney

A criminal case can be very complex, and you should not consider navigating it alone. If you are facing criminal charges, contact an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney . As a former prosecutor, Attorney Jack L. Zaremba is equipped to help you fully understand your options and will work with you in making the best possible decisions. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation today.

Why Are Juveniles Held to a Different Standard of Accountability Under the Law?

Joliet Juvenile LawyerFor several decades now, the golden question regarding juvenile crimes has been why we try juveniles and adults differently for similar crimes. More specifically, many wonder why those as old as seventeen years of age (nearly adults) are still considered “youth” in a court of law, instead of adult offenders.

Experts have studied the psychological factors behind such an approach extensively over the years and have discovered a number of reasons why juveniles—including nearly adult seventeen-year-olds—are different from adults in the world of criminal law. Uncovering these findings has helped us to understand, then, why the U.S. Supreme Court treats juveniles differently, holding them to an entirely separate standard of accountability than adults.

Brain Development and its Effect on Teen Behavior

Anyone who is a parent to a teenager or is otherwise close to a teenager is familiar with how difficult adolescent behavior can be. Teens are often impulsive and argumentative, especially as they reach the later teen years. This is essentially the source behind the youth offender’s differential treatment in the law system. A teen’s brain differs significantly from an adult's brain due to development, causing teens to make all kinds of irrational, impulsive, and, at times, downright destructive choices. Quite simply, the difference in brain development affects a teen’s behavior, which distinctly separates them from adults under criminal law.

The Illinois Department of Human Services has reported the following physical and behavioral science findings regarding this issue:

• Youth often engage in risky criminal conduct due to the fact that they make decisions differently than adults. In particular, they have been found less able to engage in moral reasoning;
• Youth are capable of significant positive growth and change. In fact, many young offenders can and typically do stop offending, even up to age seventeen, as they tend to “grow out” of the poor behavior; and
• Youth, including seventeen-year-olds, are prone to riskier behavior than adults. They have been found to be less capable of controlling their impulses, have a harder time regulating emotions, and are less able to consider the long-term consequences for their actions. Additionally, they are also more easily influenced by peer pressure than adults and are more susceptible to stress-induced pressure.

Researchers emphasize that as teens move through late adolescence, their brain development allows them to better integrate memory and experience into their decisions. Additionally, the frontal areas of their brain develop greater speed and richer connections. This assists them in being able to consider more variables and possible agendas when making a decision.

Contact an Attorney

Juvenile offense, although treated differently than adult criminal charges, can still be devastating for a teen’s record, future, and their emotional wellbeing. If your teen is facing consequences for a juvenile crime, it is time to speak with an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable in representing juveniles in a court of law. Call the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba today for a free consultation.

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