What Are My Rights Regarding a Police Search of My Car?

Most of us have been pulled over by police while driving at least once or twice in our lives. It can be an upsetting ordeal. While the police officer is processing your identification and deciding what action to take regarding the traffic stop, he or she may ask to search your vehicle. What are your

Frequently Asked Questions About Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Devices

If you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI), you may soon be required to install a breath alcohol ignition interlock device. These devices are designed to prevent individuals who have previously been convicted of a DUI from driving under the influence of alcohol. There are many questions surrounding ignition interlock devices.

Do You Want Your Traffic Stop Recorded?

Everything we do nowadays seems to be recorded: virtually all Illinois police cars are equipped with dash cams, an increasing number of police departments have their officers wear body cameras, businesses have security cameras, bystanders have smartphones, and so on. If you get pulled over by the police, you may wonder whether the officer is

The Importance of Miranda Rights in Criminal Cases

In 1966, the Supreme Court case Arizona v. Miranda established that suspects taken into police custody to be questioned must be informed of their constitutional rights against self-incrimination. In the case, Ernesto Miranda was taken into custody for kidnapping and rape charges and confessed to them before he was told he had the right to an attorney and

Drug Asset Seizures: Can the Police Take Everything?

Have you heard horror stories about people who were merely accused (but not yet convicted) of a drug crime, and the police immediately seized their houses, cars, cash, and everything else of value that they owned? These “drug asset” seizures can leave innocent family members homeless and without transportation, while providing incremental funding to law

7 Reasons You Could Lose Your Driver’s License in Illinois

Many people do not realize is that driving is a privilege, not a right. There is no federal or state constitutional rule that says you must be allowed to drive. In Illinois, there are many reasons why a person can lose their driving privileges. We take our driver’s license for granted and often do not realize

How a Governor’s Pardon Can Clear Your Criminal Record

Someone who committed a crime ten or twenty years ago will still have that conviction on their criminal record, even after they have been fully released from prison, probation, and/or parole. While some criminal convictions can be sealed or expunged from your criminal record (preventing them from showing up on background checks for employment and

Man Charged With Hate Crime for Harassing Woman Wearing Puerto Rico Flag Shirt

According to Illinois law, a person can be charged with a hate crime when he or she commits certain offenses and is motivated by the actual or perceived characteristics of another person or a group of people. These characteristics include race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, and disability status. The offenses that can be

College Man Shot By Police After He Refuses to Put Down Gun

A college student was shot by three police officers July 12 after he was repeatedly told to lower his weapon. The man, a student at the University of Illinois, was shot in the leg after he pointed what was at the time thought to be a handgun at police and was given multiple warnings to

National Defense Bar’s Report Highlights the “Trial Penalty” Problem

When a criminal defendant is presented with a possible plea bargain, one of the primary incentives to accept the agreement is a reduced sentence in exchange for pleading guilty. This means that refusing the agreement requires the defendant to risk a more severe sentence if he or she is found guilty at trial. The difference between the

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