Limits Passed on Stingray Devices | Will County Criminal Defense Attorney

Joliet stingray lawyerLimitations on Stingray Devices

Stingray devices are used prevalently throughout the state of Illinois by local and state police departments. These powerful pieces of equipment, also known as “cell site simulators” or “IMSI catchers” mimic a standard cell phone tower. They are useful in tracking cell phones by sending out signals to a cellular device which allows the operator to locate the responding phone. However, with this technology comes the rise of privacy concerns as the device also returns data regarding the phones of those who are not under investigation. The problem motivated Illinois legislators to alter the state’s laws to protect the rights of Illinois citizens .

Why Are They Used?

A Stingray is only about the size of a suitcase but can intercept, collect, access, transfer, or forward the data received or stored by hundreds or thousands of cell phones within any given geographic area. Although they are not used throughout the entire United States, the cities and states that have them have been able to assist those in need. For instance, in October the technology helped in locating a 6-year-old girl in Arizona. When the device is in active mode, a compatible device is forced to disconnect from the actual cell tower and connect with the simulator, forcing all devices in the area to identify their location with the use of radio waves.

Privacy Concerns

Police are not able to limit the information they gather to that from a single device. This means that they obtain an extensive amount of information from devices belonging to those who are not even on a suspect list. Not only are police able to find the location of each device but they are also able to listen in on conversations without the knowledge of the user. This information potentially remains in storage for an untold amount of time, able to be recalled for other unrelated crimes. Additionally, concerns exist for the usage of the information, for instance, to profile behavior such as regular visits to a doctor or political meeting attendance.

The New Changes

In a recent act concerning the use of cell site simulator devices, Illinois limited the scope of usage for the devices. The new law limits Stingray devices as well as any other telephone surveillance or eavesdropping devices and mobile stations.
The new changes state:

• Law enforcement is prohibited from using the devices unless they are strictly tracking a device or identifying a singular device;
• Officers must apply for a court order (warrant) on the basis of probable cause that the individual has, is, or is about to commit a crime; and
• Any data received from devices which are not targeted and are not affiliated with the applicable warrant must be deleted within 24 hours.

If you are on the wrong side of a cell-site simulator device and the police obtained information about you without your knowledge, the new law protects your rights. To discuss your legal options with a proven and experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney , contact the Law Office of Jack L Zaremba. Call 815-740-4025 to schedule your free initial consultation.

The Dangers of Drag Racing | Will County Criminal Defense Attorney

The Dangers and Consequences of Drag Racing

Joliet street drag racing lawyer Drag racing , sometimes also referred to as street racing, involves at least two vehicles competing in a speed race against one another. Drag racing can be a straight shot—meaning that the racers maintain a straight path—or it could be a race along a designated course that includes public streets, roadways, and highways. In most cases, the object of drag racing is for one driver to arrive at a destination first and in the shortest amount of time. However, sometimes the point of street racing is to test the physical limitations and stamina of drivers over the course of a long route or to prevent another, third-party vehicle from passing.

Street racing has been highly popularized over the last decade or so due to its appearance in a number of movies and high-profile celebrity deaths. However, drag racing and any other form of racing is illegal on the roads and highways of Illinois , and those caught participating in street racing activities may face sever criminal charges with long-lasting consequences.

Penalties for a Driver Who Was Racing

Punishment for a drag racing driver is based on whether the driver is a repeat offender, and whether anyone was hurt as a result of the racing.

• As a first offense, street racing is a Class A misdemeanor, carrying a minimum fine of $250;
• As a second or subsequent offense, street racing is upgraded to a Class 4 felony and carries a minimum fine of $500;
• If the drag racing results in a motor vehicle accident that causes great bodily harm or disfigurement to someone, the driver may be charged with aggravated street racing, which is a Class 4 felony. The offense is punishable by a jail sentence lasting from a minimum of one year to up to 12 years; and
• In all instances of street racing, the driver will have his or her driver’s license revoked. License revocations are indefinite, and the only way to get driving privileges back is to appear at an administrative hearing and request reinstatement. The process takes time, money, and often the help of a driver’s license reinstatement lawyer.

You Do Not Need to Be the Driver

Not only is it illegal for a driver to engage in street racing, but it is also against the law to knowingly allow another person to use your vehicle for street racing purposes. A conviction for knowingly permitting another to use your vehicle for racing can subject you to a Class B misdemeanor charge for a first offense, and a Class A misdemeanor for a second or subsequent offense.

Call Our Office for Help

Maybe you were charged with speed racing when in reality you were just speeding, or maybe someone used your car for racing and you had no knowledge that the racing was taking place. Either way, it is important to seek help to defend against the charges against you. Contact a skilled Joliet traffic offenses lawyer the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation today.

Record Sealing and Expungement | Joliet Expungement Lawyer

Understanding the Difference Between Record Sealing and Expungement

Joliet Expungement Sealing LawyerBeing convicted of a crime can severely limit one’s housing and employment opportunities. Sealing or expunging your record can often mitigate such issues. However, it is important to understand the difference between the two before filing a motion. An experienced expungement and record sealing lawyer can provide details on how you can improve the chances of a successful outcome in your criminal record sealing or expungement case.

Sealing vs. Expungement

At first glance, sealing of a criminal record and expungement might seem like the same thing, but the reality is much different. An expungement is akin to starting over with a clean slate. Any trace of your arrest or conviction is erased from government databases and no one can look up details about your case. It is almost as though it never even happened.
Record sealing is somewhat similar but not the same. Information about your conviction remains in government databases, and select groups can still access your record, including the military, healthcare providers, and financial institutions. However, most will be unable to search for or find information on your criminal conviction other than any media information that may have been published.

Who is Eligible for Expungement?

Obviously, the more favorable option for everyone would be to have their criminal record expunged. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. There are certain limitations on whom may seek expungement. For example, most felony offenders are likely to find that expungement is not an option. Misdemeanors (except DUIs and certain other exclusions) may be eligible for expungement if you have completed at least two years of probation or any other form of court supervision.

Sealing Your Records

While most felony offenders may be ineligible for expungement , some may still be able to have their records sealed, including those convicted of Class 4 felony drug possession or Class 4 felony prostitution. This can give them more options when searching for employment or housing. If you have questions or believe you could be eligible for record sealing, speak to an experienced attorney and obtain assistance.

Contact Our Illinois Criminal Defense Lawyers

At the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, we believe everyone deserves a second chance, and we will fight to get yours by assessing your situation to determine if record sealing or expungement may be appropriate for you. We provide candid and honest feedback and will aggressively pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Contact an experienced Joliet expungement and record sealing attorney by calling 815-740-4025 today.


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