Blogs | Law Office of Jack L Zaremba


99-Year-Old Dutch Woman “Arrested” to Fulfill Bucket List Wish

Joliet Criminal

The phrase “bucket list” entered the public consciousness sometime around 2006 or 2007 thanks, in large part, to a feature film called The Bucket List. As an irreverent play on the idiom “to kick the bucket”—which means to die—a bucket list has come to be known as a list of experiences that a person would like to have at some point in his or her lifetime. Common bucket list items include climbing a mountain, swimming with dolphins, and visiting the Statue of Liberty. Some people, however, crave something a little different—such as the elderly woman in the Netherlands whose wish was to see a jail cell from the inside.

“All Smiles”

According to various reports and the Facebook account of the police department in the Dutch town Nijmegen-Zuid, a 99-year-old woman named Annie was “arrested” last month at the request of Annie’s niece. Officers gently placed the woman in handcuffs, drove her to the police station, and locked her in a holding cell. Photos posted to Facebook show Annie beaming with delight as she proudly showed off her handcuffs, finally getting her wish to “experience a police cell from within.” The local police department called it a “day to remember,” and it is surely one that nobody involved will soon forget.

No Laughing Matter

For an aging woman who has spent nearly a century as a law-abiding citizen, her playful “arrest” was a moment of joy and respect for law enforcement. Most arrests, however, are not so light-hearted. Being arrested for a criminal offense can change your life in an instant. Depending on the charges against you, you could be facing serious criminal consequences, and a criminal conviction could follow you forever.
In many cases, the moments during and immediately after an arrest are the most crucial, as police officers often ask questions and try to gather as much information as they can in a short amount of time. If you are ever arrested, it is imperative to contact an attorney as soon as possible, even if you have nothing to hide. It is, unfortunately, very easy to inadvertently make an incriminating statement or provide the police with evidence that could be used against you later. Having a qualified lawyer at your side can help ensure that your rights are fully protected no matter what the charges against you may be.

Call Us Today

At the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, we understand that being arrested can be frightening and overwhelming, and we are prepared to help you. If you or a loved one has been taken into police custody on the suspicion that you committed a crime, your first call should be to an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney . Call 815-740-4025 and let us help you protect your future.

Judge Sends Drunk Driver’s Mother to Jail for Courtroom Behavior

Joliet DUI Lawyer

A criminal courtroom is a serious place. Sometimes, the setting may seem more somber than is necessary, but, in most cases, the decisions being made will affect the lives of not only the defendant but his or her family as well. It is up to each judge to determine what types of behavior are and are not acceptable in his or her courtroom, and some are certainly more lenient than others. A recent example from Wayne County, Michigan, however, demonstrates the dangers of failing to act appropriately as the mother of a drunk driver was sent to jail by a judge whose patience had been tested enough.

Tragic Circumstances

The incident occurred during a sentencing hearing for a 25-year-old woman who had pled guilty to driving under the influence and causing death. The woman had been arrested in June following a DUI accident which killed one man and severely injured the man’s fiancée. She was back in the courtroom last month to receive her sentence and listen to impact statements from the victim’s family. The admitted drunk driver was in tears as the impact statements were being read, but the woman’s family members had a different reaction.

According to court records and multiple news outlets, Wayne County Circuit Judge Qiana Lillard interrupted the statements to deal with inappropriate behavior from individuals in the back row of the courtroom. Lillard called out one man for being “a clown,” as he “was sitting there smiling and laughing” while the deceased victim’s sister was speaking. She sent him out of the courtroom along with the driver’s mother saying, “You can go, too. This is a court of law, and these are very serious matters.”

Jail Time for Contempt

As the driver’s mother left the courtroom, she was heard talking back to the judge who ordered her to come back in so her behavior could be addressed. Lillard told the woman that she would be going to the Wayne County Jail for 93 days for direct criminal contempt. After spending a single night in jail, the woman was back before Judge Lillard the next morning with a humble attitude. She apologized to the judge, and Lillard cut the remainder of the woman’s sentence.

The drunk driver was sentenced to 3 to 15 years for her role in the fatal crash.

Speak to a Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If you have been arrested for drunk driving or any other offense, an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney can assist you as you prepare for the proceedings. We understand that your courtroom behavior and that of your loved ones can leave a strong impression on the judge—and jury if your case goes to trial. Call 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba today.

Defending Against Weapons Charges

Joliet unlawful use of weapon gun lawyer

The Second Amendment guarantees the right of United States citizens to keep and bear arms, but that right is not absolute and may not be exercised with unbridled abandon. Occasionally, the average layman may misunderstand the scope of weapons regulations , or even willfully decide to violate them. Either way, an attorney knowledgeable on the subject can help ensure that such a charge is dealt with appropriately and in a timely fashion.

Understanding Illinois Weapon Laws

The offenses grouped under the vague category of “weapons charges” are numerous and varied. Most are related to improper carrying, display, or use of a firearm in an inappropriate place, but using or brandishing any weapon can land its owner in trouble with the law, as well as owning one without a license or FOID (firearm owner’s identification card). Illinois does have fairly stringent gun control laws, with several small details that can prove problematic if they are not sufficiently understood.

It is important to understand that Illinois’s weapons laws are quite strict, which means that many offenses—especially those involving firearms—are charged as felonies, even if no one is harmed. A common example is having an uncased gun in one’s vehicle, which is an unlawful use of a weapon (UUW) under Illinois law. An UUW can be a misdemeanor, but depending on the circumstances of the case, it may rise to the level of a Class 4 felony—all in response to an action that may have been a simple oversight by the defendant.

Tell the Truth

A person who has been charged with a weapons offense may face misdemeanor or felony consequences. The most important thing to remember is that there are multiple factors that can affect the severity of a charge, such as a person’s status in terms of past convictions—those convicted of a felony lose their right to firearm ownership in Illinois—or the position of a weapon at the time of police intervention. For example, if someone who has never been previously charged with a weapons violation is charged with unlawful use of a weapon in a private home, the result might be a misdemeanor, while someone with previous convictions might be charged with a felony.
It is imperative for a person to be honest with both the court and his or her attorney, regardless of the nature of the charge. Sadly, it is not uncommon for those charged with weapons violations to obfuscate or otherwise stretch the truth, so as to save their pride or out of a mistaken belief that certain details are irrelevant. The fallout for concealing facts can be significant, both in regard to penalties assessed at trial and in terms of missing the chance to plead to a lesser offense.

Contact a Weapons Law Attorney

Any weapons charge, no matter whether a misdemeanor or a felony, has the potential to be significant, with long-lasting effects on one’s life and livelihood. Contact an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney for assistance with your case. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba today.


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