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The Difference Between Resisting Arrest and Obstruction of Justice

Joliet resisting arrest attorney

When law enforcement officials are investigating a crime or pursuing a suspect, they tend to expect complete cooperation from those they detain and/or question during the course of that investigation. When someone attempts to repel police orders or questions, whether by physical force, being misleading, or withholding information, they could very easily find themselves facing charges of obstructing justice or resisting arrest .

Actions (and Words) Have Consequences

While it is up to the prosecution to prove charges of resisting arrest or obstruction of justice, a conviction on either charge can have serious repercussions for the defendant. Knowing the difference between the charges and working with an attorney who has experience defending against criminal charges can help a person avoid severe punishment. These charges differ in the following ways:

Resisting arrest generally is applied when a person applies some sort of physical force in attempting to avoid being detained by police. Whether a person runs away, pushes or bumps an officer, or even simply pulls their arm away when grabbed by an officer, any of these actions can result in a charge of resisting arrest.

• A charge of obstruction of justice is applied if law enforcement officials believe a person lied, misled, or omitted information when questioned during the course of an investigation. It is not uncommon for a charge to occur when a person tries to help or protect a friend from getting into trouble. Unfortunately, those good intentions can have very negative consequences.

In Illinois, if a defendant is found guilty of either charge, they will receive an automatic conviction without the opportunity for supervision or some other diversionary recourse.
Recently, critics have come out in protest of police who, they say, are abusing their power in charging individuals with these crimes. Some say these charges are used to lend added legitimacy to arrests in certain situations, further emphasizing the importance of retaining experienced legal counsel.

Trust Your Future to an Experienced Will County Criminal Defense Attorney

Although they do not sound serious, charges of resisting arrest and obstruction of justice carry very serious penalties in the event of a conviction. Leaving your defense to an inexperienced attorney could make a bad situation much worse. It is important to retain a knowledgeable attorney who understands the seriousness of the situation and possesses the experience to present an aggressive and effective defense on your behalf. The legal team at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba will conduct a meticulous and thorough review of your case to ensure the best defense strategy possible is employed. Contact our Joliet criminal defense attorney by calling 815-740-4025 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Criminal Defense Strategies

Joliet criminal lawyers

Perhaps you have heard the saying that “ignorance of the law is not a defense.” While that may be true, there are a number of legally sound strategies a competent and practiced criminal defense attorney might use to aid clients who may or may not have a full understanding of the law. If one feels justified in having committed a certain act, it is important to have an experienced legal professional implement a strong and legal defense strategy on their behalf.

Presenting Your Defense

Although this list is not considered final or complete, it does represent some common defense strategies frequently employed every day on the behalf of criminal defendants:

• Necessity – This strategy is employed when a defendant wishes to plea that the act for which they are being tried was committed due to extraordinary circumstances. Commonly accepted criteria include averting a greater evil or lack of any other legal recourse.

• Duress – This defense is used when the accused claims any illegal act which they have committed was done so under threat of death or great bodily harm by another individual.

• Self-Defense – This is a common defense when accused of murder or assault, in which the defendant claims to have acted in order to prevent an attacker from causing them harm or death.

• Mistake – This might be one’s defense if, due to being misled or presented with false information, one commits an illegal act, such as a bartender serving alcohol to a minor who provided false identification.

Retain a Knowledgeable Joliet Criminal Defense Attorney to Build and Present Your Case

Even if you know that you are completely innocent of any crime for which you are charged, attempting to handle criminal legal matters on your own can have negative results. The assistance and guidance of a tested criminal lawyer will ensure that your defense is presented effectively through skilled representation in court. At the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba. we use extensive knowledge and years of experience to present an aggressive defense aimed at delivering the most favorable outcome. Schedule a free initial consultation with an Illinois criminal defense attorney by calling 815-740-4025. During your meeting, you can learn how we will use our extensive resources to provide you with a strong defense.

The Price You May Pay for Letting a Friend Drive Drunk

Joliet DUI lawyers

After enjoying a few drinks at Happy Hour, three adult friends got into one’s car. Can you fill in the rest of the story? In the best case scenario, they had been drinking responsibly, the driver was not impaired, and all got home safely.

But what if their driver had had one or two drinks too many? Whose responsibility was it to make sure that driver was not impaired? Obviously, if you feel impaired, you should not get behind the wheel. But what is your responsibility as a passenger or bystander if someone is driving under the influence ?

Adult Passengers Have No Legal Responsibility for Others’ DUI

Under Illinois law, you have no legal responsibility to stop another adult (over age 21, that is) from driving their own vehicle while intoxicated, unless you were involved in selling them the alcohol which caused them to become impaired. So, if you suspect a driver is legally intoxicated, you commit no crime if you let them drive away or if you ride along as a passenger in their car. Even if they end up arrested for DUI , you will not be charged with a crime, as long as you were just a law-abiding passenger.

That said, you take a big risk when you get into a car with a drunk driver. You could be seriously injured or even die as a result of their impaired driving. If the driver is pulled over by the police and some sort of dispute arises (for example, if you lie when questioned or get upset and start yelling), you could end up in jail yourself, charged with a crime such as obstructing justice or disorderly conduct.

Ultimately, you have to follow your conscience and use your best judgment. Make a reasonable effort to persuade a drunk or drugged friend to take a cab or to hand off their keys to a sober person to drive. If you believe someone poses a danger to themselves or others, you can always report a suspected drunk driver to the police by calling 911 and providing a description of the person and vehicle, the license plate number, and their location.

You Are Responsible if You Let an Intoxicated Person Drive Your Car

Illinois law does hold you responsible if you let an intoxicated person drive a motor vehicle that you own. According to statute 625 ILCS 5/6-304.1 , if you knowingly permit your own vehicle to be driven by someone under the influence (other than your spouse or a co-owner of the vehicle), you can be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to one year and fines of up to $2,500.

Most adults, at one time or another, have faced the impaired driving issue, either as a driver wondering “Have I drunk too much to drive safely?” or as a passenger questioning “Should I get into a car with this driver who seems intoxicated?” When in doubt, you will not go wrong by erring on the side of caution.

Protect Your Rights With an Experienced Joliet Criminal Defense Attorney

Mistakes happen. If you or a friend are facing criminal charges as a result of over consumption, do not compound your mistake by trying to go it alone. At the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, we will investigate your case thoroughly to develop evidence that could get your charges reduced or even dismissed. Contact an experienced Will County DUI defense lawyer at 815-740-4025 for a free and confidential consultation; phone calls are answered 24 hours a day.


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