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Florida Deputy Too Drunk to Receive Award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Joliet MADD VIPA Pinellas County (Florida) Sheriff’s deputy has sent a formal letter of apology to a municipal department police chief for his inappropriate behavior at a conference and awards ceremony hosted by the public interest group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) earlier this summer. The statewide MADD event was organized to provide training and to recognize individuals for their contributions in the battle against driving under the influence. The deputy was slated to receive an award for making more than 100 DUI arrests, but, in an ironic twist, he was too drunk to attend the ceremony.

An Interesting Day

According to reports, the Pinellas Sheriff’s deputy arrived at the Fort Lauderdale hotel where the even was being held, signed in, and attended a morning session. During the first break, however, he decided the DUI enforcement training was unnecessary for him, as we he was soon transferring out of the county’s DUI unit. Investigators determined that the deputy returned to his room, began drinking, and spent the day drinking cocktails by the pool and playing party games with two other deputies who also skipped training.

As the deputy headed into the banquet and awards ceremony, he encountered Gulfport Police Chief Robert Vincent, who suggested the man should not attend the dinner due to his level of inebriation. The deputy reportedly responded with disrespectful comments toward Vincent, prompting the chief to find one the deputy’s direct supervisors. The supervisor ordered the deputy back to his room. The deputy was subsequently disciplined by the Sheriff’s office with a one-day suspension, and was ordered to send an apology letter to Vincent.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

The entire event in Fort Lauderdale this summer was hosted by Mother Against Drunk Driving to further the efforts of law enforcement in reducing accidents and injuries caused by driving under the influence. MADD was founded in 1980 by Candy Lightner, a mother who lost her 13-year old daughter Cari when the girl was hit by a drunk driver. Since then, the organization estimates that it has helped to save the lives of nearly 330,000 people through its educational and public awareness campaigns about the dangers of driving drunk.

Legal Help for Your DUI Charge

If you are facing charges of driving under the influence, it is important to enlist the assistance of a lawyer who understands the seriousness of the situation. Contact experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney Jack L. Zaremba and get the hardworking legal representation you need during a stressful time. Call 815-740-4025 today to schedule your free initial consultation.

What is an Attempted Crime in Illinois?

Joliet Illinois attempted crimeUnder Illinois law you may be guilty of a crime even if you have not yet successfully completed a criminal action. Illinois has three main categories of actions that are punishable in the criminal justice system, even if a “full” crime was not committed. These categories are attempt, conspiracy, and solicitation. Sometimes these are called inchoate crimes or offenses. These are crimes that are close to occurring, but have not actually occurred yet. You can be convicted of an attempt of almost any crime.

What is the Legal Definition of Attempt?

The legal definition of an attempted crime is different than the way the word “attempt” is used in everyday language. Because attempted crimes can result in the loss of your freedom, and require a prosecutor to demonstrate your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the law outlines an attempted crime as having certain elements. The perpetrator must:

• Intend to commit a specific offense;
• Take an action; and
• The action must be a substantial step towards the commission of that offense.

Most cases hinge on whether a specific action is a “substantial step”. If the action was not a “substantial step” someone cannot be found guilty of an attempted crime.

Defenses to Attempt

You have the same defenses available to you that you would have if you were charged with the actual crime. This means you may be able to claim self-defense or defense of others in some instances.

The main defense available for attempted crimes is to attack the elements. You can argue that you did not take a substantial step, you did not take any action, or that you had no intent to commit a crime.

You cannot argue that you misunderstood the facts so that even if you had carried out your actions and plan it would have been impossible for you to succeed. An example of this would be if you thought you had poison, but you really only had water. You cannot argue that it would have been impossible to try and kill someone because you only had water. You still intended the criminal action.

Consequences for Attempted Crimes

Illinois law takes attempted crimes very seriously. In most cases, the sentence for an attempted felony will be up to the maximum prison sentence as a felony under the next lowest class. For example, if you are convicted of an attempted Class 1 felony, you can be sentenced to a maximum prison sentence associated with a Class 2 felony.

You cannot be convicted of both attempt and the actual crime itself.

Being charged, or even accused of a crime is a serious matter. Before you talk to anyone, you need to consult with a skilled and experienced Will County criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba today at 815-740-4025 to schedule your free initial consultation. We are committed to providing you with the high quality legal representation you deserve no matter how dire your situation may seem.

Too Good to Be True Online Deals May Be Stolen Property

Joliet Stolen Property AttorneyHave you have ever scrolled through eBay, or a similar auction site, looking for bargains? With nearly 160 million active user accounts on eBay alone, chances are pretty good that you or someone in your family checks out available deals at least occasionally. Online commerce has created an entirely new opportunity for bargain-hunters, but authorities have issued warning that a large number of auction site deals may, in fact, involve stolen property.

A report issued by the National Retail Federation estimates that as many as one-third of auction and classified site listings for items claiming to be “new in box” or “new with tags” are merchandise that has been stolen from retail stores or warehouses. Such schemes often involve organized retail theft rings, such as the multi-million dollar operation run by four Chicago residents arrested in 2013 for a nationwide string of shoplifting. While the main item of choice for that particular group was computer hard drives, theft rings may focus on stealing clothing, purses, jewelry, or any other items that can be quickly converted to cash through an intermediary known as a “fence.”

While more complex operations may allow the fence to then distribute the merchandise for a profit, smaller-scale thieves often try to fence stolen property online on their own. Loss prevention executives around the country have observed a marked increase in “e-fencing” in recent years. Some thieves have been able to make substantial money in the process, including an Australian university student who was arrested last week with more than $11,000 in merchandise in her dorm, after already netting the same amount in eBay sales.

Officials from eBay have indicated that the online site is committed to combating fraudulent activity and the sale of stolen property through its listings. Retailers and law enforcement agencies, as well, continue to try to track down retail thieves for both legal and commercial purposes. Shoplifters, of course, can face criminal charges, but every stolen item slowly but surely contributes to rising retail prices and necessary markup to compensate for the loss.

If you have been accused of retail theft or buying or selling stolen property, you need an attorney who is dedicated to helping you protect your rights. Contact an experienced Joliet criminal defense lawyer today at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba. We will review your case and help you find a favorable resolution, no matter what the charges against you may be. Call 815-740-4025 to schedule your free consultation.

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